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Iraq: 10 Contracts Maintain U.S. Work in Iraq

by Jackie SpinnerWashington Post
January 15th, 2004

U.S. officials plan to tap a series of broad contingency contracts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just awarded to 10 firms to keep reconstruction going in Iraq until a delayed round of rebuilding contracts is awarded.

Lt. Gen. Robert B. Flowers, commander of the Corps, said in an interview that the 10 contracts, worth up to $1.5 billion each over five years, cover work the Corps oversees for the U.S. military in 25 countries from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia. They are not specific to Iraq.

He said some contracts will be used to bridge delays in awarding new reconstruction work from the $18.6 billion in supplemental funding that Congress approved last year. Those contracts will now be awarded in early March.

"It's critical you start the infrastructure projects," Flowers said. "The Iraqi people's expectations can be high. You risk having people become upset, take to the streets. It's very important we continue to demonstrate we're moving forward."

The competitively bid contracts, announced Tuesday, are broadly written and allow the Corps of Engineers to issue task orders under a general scope of work, including engineering and construction, temporary base operations and maintenance services.

The contractors include Parsons Inc., Perini Corp., Fluor Intercontinental Inc., Contrack International Inc. and KBR Inc., a Halliburton Co. subsidiary that has a no-bid contract to repair Iraq's oil infrastructure. Perini and Fluor have no-bid contracts to repair the electrical grid.

The Air Force plans to use a similar contract to start building barracks for the new Iraqi army, according to Tony Leqeta, director of construction for the Program Management Office, the group in charge of overseeing taxpayer-funded reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

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