KBR Contract Questioned

A New Hampshire congresswoman said the Pentagon has failed to justify giving a new, $35 million contract to a company whose electrical work on U.S. facilities in Iraq has been criticized as shoddy and unsafe. The Associated Press reports at least three service members were electrocuted while showering at U.S. facilities in Iraq. Others have been injured or killed in electrical incidents. Houston-based contractor KBR Inc., which maintains nearly all U.S. facilities in Iraq, has said it was not responsible for any of the deaths, and that safety is its top priority. In a letter sent last month, Army Secretary Pete Geren told Rep. Carol Shea-Porter that KBR got the new contract because the Army Corps of Engineers felt KBR had performed well on other jobs. Geren also said KBR was the only contractor to submit a proposal, and was not on a government list of debarred companies.