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Nearly $4 Million Spent On Congressional Iran-Contra Probe With AM-Iran-Contra Rdp Bjt

November 19, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate and House Iran-Contra committees spent nearly $4 million this year to review more than 300,000 documents, talk to more than 500 witnesses, conduct public hearings and produce a 690-page report.

A Senate committee official, speaking on condition of anonymity, estimated on Wednesday that the Senate cost was about $2 million. ″That’s a ballpark figure. It may be a little more,″ the official said.

Bob Havel, a spokesman for the House committee, said the panel was given a budget of $1.95 million last January. By Sept. 30, it had spent about $1.2 million, Havel said, ″and my guess is that the bulk of our expenditures were made before Sept. 30.″

″We had to install a security system and a high-speed copying machine,″ Havel added. ″We had to rent a computer.″

Both the House and Senate panels are required to make a final report on their costs by Dec. 31.

Asked if the 10-month congressional effort to obtain details on the Iran- Contra affair was worth all the time and expenses, Sen. Howell Heflin, D- Ala., a member of the Senate panel, replied:

″The right of the public to know is hard to put a dollars and cents value on. The right of the public to know, to me, is really a priceless element.″

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