Three L.A.-area companies have each raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last three years, according to a report issued last week by a Washington D.C.-based non-profit.

Pasadena-based Parsons Corp. was the top local company listed in the report, taking in $579 million from 2004 through 2006, according to the report from the Center for Public Integrity, which specializes in investigative journalism in the public interest. That placed it at No. 10 overall, well behind leading national contractor and former Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc., which received more than $16 billion in contracts during that period.

The second L.A. area company on the center's list of the top 100 U.S. contractors was Tetra Tech Inc., also based in Pasadena. Tetra Tech received $362 million in contracts, placing it at No. 13. Los Angeles-based Aecom Technology Corp. was close behind in the No. 16 slot with $294 million in contracts.

The Center for Public Integrity report noted that these contract figures were probably on the low side, saying that the publicly available federal database maintained by the General Services Administration is incomplete.

Some of the contracts have proven controversial, including several held by Parsons. The privately held engineering firm has been the subject of considerable scrutiny and Congressional hearings for what some claimed was slow progress in building health clinics throughout Iraq and a police academy in Baghdad.

The contracts held by Tetra Tech and Aecom have been considerably lower profile. Tetra Tech is the lead engineer for the design and construction of structures to protect U.S. troops from mortar and rocket attacks. Tetra Tech teams have also cleared unexploded munitions, destroying more than 60,000 tons of ordnance, according to a company fact sheet. Finally, Tetra Tech provided design management and engineering services for four regional brigade facilities for the Afghan National Army.

A Tetra Tech spokeswoman said the company was unable to provide additional comment.

Aecom's biggest contract ($281 million) has been with the U.S. Army for vehicle maintenance, both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Parsons has received a wide range of contracts for work throughout Iraq. Besides the clinics and police academy building, Parsons has performed hazardous removal and cleanup at U.S. Army facilities and field operations in Iraq, as well as restoration and construction work for the U.S. Air Force.

"Parsons has been involved in eight competitively bid contracts as part of the Iraq reconstruction effort," Parsons spokeswoman Amber Thompson said in a statement. "Under extremely difficult and unprecedented warlike conditions, we executed over 1,000 projects at more than 500 locations ranging from Mosul to Basra and from the Syrian border to the Iranian border. At construction peak, we employed more than 25,000 Iraqis (both direct hires and subcontractor employees)."

In 2006, criticism of Parsons mounted as it fell behind schedule on some projects. Then in May, reports surfaced that the Army was considering suspending its contracts with Parsons because of allegations of poor workmanship on several reconstruction contracts. Ultimately, the Army chose to keep Parsons.

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