WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new Pentagon audit has lambasted Halliburton's accounting for billions of dollars of work in Iraq, as a Sunday deadline neared to withhold a major slice of payments to the Texas-based firm.For the full story...
Halliburton's accounting system has been disputed by Pentagon auditors for the past 18 months but the company has so far avoided any withheld payments for work done in Iraq by its unit Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR).
Halliburton said it could weather any such action by in turn withholding payments due to subcontractors, and it disputed the latest audit.
The auditors have also recommended the company provide detailed cost or pricing data for any bills over $100,000.
News of the latest audit first emerged in a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday that said Halliburton had inadequately accounted for more than $1.8 billion of work in Iraq, representing 43 percent of the money that its subsidiary has billed so far for feeding and housing troops.
Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the company strongly disagreed with the audit and believed the issue would ultimately be resolved in the company's favor.
She said the Pentagon auditors had no authority to determine the adequacy of its estimating systems and she also disputed audit findings that Halliburton did not have a system to properly negotiate final prices.