ARMY TO HALLIBURTON: NO MORE ONE-STOP SHOPPING. Halliburton is no longer to be the U.S. Army's favorite contractor son, according to Griff Witte of The Washington Post. The Army, he reports, is going to open up the logistics contract for reconstruction in Iraq to actual bidding. Halliburton, however, will be eligible to bid, despite its massive overbilling of the government (more than $1 billion in questionable costs according to the Government Accountablity Office and government audits) and its well-known failure to cough up certain deliverables.

Usually missing amid the criticism of lax oversight of such contracts is the effect the Pentagon's new personnel system would have, if implemented, on whatever checks and balances remain in that arena. Currently battling a coalition of unions led by my former employer, the American Federation of Government Employees, the Pentagon has appealed the decision of a federal judge who put a stop to the so-called labor-relations plan that DoD attached to its new National Security Personnel System (NSPS).

The Pentagon plan would gut such worker protections as an impartial appeals board for workers who believe themselves wrongly accused of infractions. Under such circumstances, how on earth will the good folks at the Defense Contracting Agency ever be able to blow the whistle on any funny business?

--Adele M. Stan