Sunday, October 05, 2003

Millions Wasted on No-Bid Contracts in Iraq

"Iraqi officials and businessmen charge that millions of dollars in contracts are being awarded without competitive bidding, some of them to former cronies of Mr. Hussein's government.
'There is no transparency,' said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of the Governing Council, 'and something has to be done about it.

'There is mismanagement right and left, and I think we have to sit with Congress face to face to discuss this. A lot of American money is being wasted, I think. We are victims and the American taxpayers are victims.'
. . .

An American businessman, who would not allow his name to be used, said the occupation authority was doling out contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by simply telephoning favored companies and announcing, "I have a contract for you," as he characterized a telephone call he received this week.

Mr. Othman said, "I hope Congress knows what is going on, but if they don't know and we don't know, then God help everybody."

From the N.Y. Times.


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