home click for info

Cheney ignored contracting ethics to help Halliburton score big in Iraq

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2004 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Government policy forbids politicians or their appointees from taking a role in awarding contracts to private corporations. But Vice President Cheney ignored this basic principle when his political appointees were directly involved in awarding a $7 billion contract to Halliburton to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure. Government personnel have confirmed on many occasions that politicians and their appointees should not be part of the government contracting process.

"The White House does not get involved or dictate to agencies on how to award contracts .... There are criteria that Congress passed in law that guide what the agencies can do. And the President is confident that that will be done." -- White House Spokesperson, Ari Fleischer

"Most contract award decisions are made by career civil servants, with no involvement by political appointees or elected officials. In some agencies, the 'source selection official' (final decision-maker) on large contracts may be a political appointee, but such decisions are preceded by such a torrent of evaluation and other backup material prepared by career civil servants that it would be difficult to change a decision from the one indicated by the career employees' evaluation." -- Steve Kelman, former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy

"Our contracts were awarded after evaluations by career civil servants, not political appointees." -- Ellen Yount, Spokeswoman for the U.S. Agency for International Development

“The procurement of this particular contract was done by career civil servants, and I know that it's a perception that those at the very highest levels of the administration, Democrat and Republican, get involved in procurement issues. It can happen. But for the very most part, the procurement system is designed to keep those judgments with the career public servants.” -- Robert Andersen, chief counsel for the Army Corps of Engineers

"Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel who has taught at the National War College, told me that so many of the contracts in Iraq are going to companies with personal connections with the Bush Administration that the procurement process has essentially become a 'patronage system.' Major Joseph Yoswa, a Department of Defense spokesman, denied this. He told me that multiple safeguards exist to insure that the department's procurement process for Iraq contracts is free of favoritism. Most important, he said, career civil servants, not political appointees, make final decisions on contracts." -- The New Yorker

"The federal government’s procurement system should be protected from both the corrupting influence of actual impropriety, and the corrosive effects of procurements tainted by the appearance of impropriety." -- Lieutenant Colonel Richard B. O'Keeffe, Jr., Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army

More Information

Pentagon admits political appointee had role in awarding no-bid contract to Halliburton

Congressman Waxman's letter to Cheney (pdf file)

Documents Suggest Pentagon Concealed Halliburton Contract in Months Before War

New document indicates Cheney may have lied about Halliburton contract deal