Army reverses decision to withhold payment to Halliburton

Late Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Army announced it was giving oil services and construction company Halliburton more time to resolve payment disputes. Earlier the same day, the Army had said it would withhold 15 percent of future payments to the contractor.

The Army made its original decision because of Halliburton’s alleged inconsistent billing practices. Halliburton, in defense, stated the intricacies of its $8 billion in Iraq contracts makes it difficult to account for all expenses.

Reuters reported the Army has requested more information from Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown and Root unit about what kind of impact the payment hold would have on the company and its responsibilities in Iraq. A final decision about payments is expected by next week.

Many democrats in Congress dislike the decision change, and say Halliburton is gaining unfair advantage because of the company’s ties to Vice President Dick Cheney. From 1995 to 2000, Cheney served as Halliburton’s president. Halliburton has also received criticism for its numerous contracts involving logistical support in Iraq. Those contracts have a potential total of $18 billion over the next few years.