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US Must Reimburse Halliburton Sub's Overcharges

The United States should reimburse Iraq for $208 million

The United States should reimburse Iraq for $208 million in apparent overcharges paid to KBR, US oilfield services group Halliburton's subsidiary, an UN watchdog agency said yesterday.

The International Advisory and Monitoring Board for the Development of Iraq conducted a special audit on Halliburton's Kellogg, Brown and Root unit for the procurement and distribution of fuel products and the restoration of Iraq's oil infrastructure.

The monitoring board cited charges of $208 million, costs that earlier had been questioned by US military auditors.

Halliburton's spokeswoman, Cathy Mann, said the UN agency has questioned the quality of the supporting documents for the costs -- not the costs themselves. ''Therefore, it would be completely wrong to say or imply that any of these costs that were incurred at the client's direction for its benefit are 'overcharges,' " Mann said. The board can make recommendations but not decisions on whether reimbursements are made.