Monday, February 27, 2006

Paying Halliburton

Most people will read this story and think, hmm the fat cats at Kellog Brown Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, where VP Dick Cheney used to work, are getting away with it. But the reality is that the Army's decision to pay KBR is probably the right one. I don't know the details of the audit, but having worked in this civil engineering business for a few years, I can tell you it is completely unacceptable to have perfection under these situations as a precondition for payment. Think about it, the US Army itself, having trained and fought in wars such as this one before, is struggling to keep itself above water. How can you expect a consulting firm that has never worked under wartime conditions to perform perfectly? KBR is taking a lot of risk in this work, and I think I remember reading that they weren't having great profit margins (common folk think profit, which of course is important, but in the consulting world, profit margins are the holy grail!) To not pay KBR would have been a guarantee that you would find it hard to find private partners in your next effort.

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