According to a March 11 report by The Washington Post, the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into Halliburton’s former subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR). KBR is the largest American contractor operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, responsible for $40 billion worth of federal work.
The Washington Post reports that the SEC is looking into the claims that KBR requires employees to sign confidentiality agreements, which violate federal whistleblower laws. These confidentiality agreements bar KBR employees from disclosing information about possible fraud, to “ANYONE” outside of the company including federal prosecutors and investigators.
This information became public last week after a federal judge overseeing a False Claims Act case against KBR ruled the confidentiality statements, collected during internal corporate fraud investigations, must be turned over to lawyers suing on behalf of a whistleblower.
An SEC spokesman declined to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. However KBR’s spokesperson indicated that the SEC had sent the company a request for documents.