Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Military’s Anti-Corruption Chief Leaves Afghanistan After Just Four Months

By Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room

After just four months in Kabul, the chief of a new military unit charged with getting rid of corruption in military contracting for Afghanistan has been replaced. The NATO command says her departure is all part of a normal rotation. But her replacement is a relatively junior officer, raising questions about the military’s commitment to rooting out corruption in its own contract practices — right as the Obama administration rethinks how important anti-corruption efforts really are.

The Pentagon quietly announced yesterday that Rear Admiral Kathleen Dussault is out as commander of Task Force 2010, a unit co-established by General David Petraeus to ensure that the military’s contracting dollars in Afghanistan don’t inadvertently fund corrupt businesses, warlords or insurgents. A congressional report issued shortly before her arrival found that the U.S.’ lack of visibility into the practices of its often-shady subcontractors undermines Afghan stability. In an interview with Danger Room shortly after arriving in Kabul in June to stand up the command, Dussault predicted that getting the military out of the thicket of unintended kickbacks to “powerbrokers” and the Taliban would require “limiting some partnerships that we’re in right now, apply more controls in a number of them, and in some cases, we’re going to need to walk away from some providers.”

A spokesman for the NATO command in Afghanistan, Major Joel Harper, said that Dussault wasn’t fired and only “planned on having the job for four months.” Her team’s performance of what she called “financial forensics” contributed to Petraeus’s revised guidelines on troop contracting, and she participated in Kabul press briefings during its roll-out last week, Harper added. According to the top brass in Afghanistan, Dussault didn’t under-perform.

Please read more here

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Pentagon | , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Defense Announces Latest Contract Awards

September 20, 2010 posted by Michael Leon ·Veterans Today

No. 848-10
September 20, 2010

——————————-
CONTRACTS

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Washington Gas Energy Services, Herndon, Va., is being awarded a maximum $105,454,390 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for natural gas.  Other locations of performance are Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia.  Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and federal civilian agencies.  The original proposal was Web-solicited with 29 responses.  The date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2012.  The Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SPO600-10-D-7514).

Colonial Energy, Inc., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a maximum $48,844,533 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for natural gas.  Other locations of performance are Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.  Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and federal civilian agencies.  The original proposal was Web-solicited with 29 responses.  The date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2012.  The Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SPO600-10-D-7512).

Please see the full listing at Veterans Today



September 21, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Pentagon | , , , | Leave a comment

ACLU Challenge to Secrecy Provisions of Contractor Fraud Law to be Heard in Fourth Circuit Today

False Claims Act gag orders hide Iraq War costs and public safety information.

Richmond, VA–Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union will present oral arguments in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals tomorrow in a lawsuit challenging the overreaching secrecy provisions of a federal whistleblower law that prevents the public from learning about serious allegations of fraud against the United States government.

Complaints filed under the False Claims Act are automatically placed under seal and those who file them are gagged from speaking, keeping the complaints secret from the public for months and, in some cases, years.

Such complaints include allegations of military contractor fraud during the Iraq War and warnings of ongoing threats to public health and safety.

The ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia filed suit in U.S. District Court in Alexandria in January 2009 on behalf of themselves, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and OMB Watch.  The government filed a motion to dismiss, which was heard in June 2009.  In August 2009, the district court granted the government’s motion.  The ACLU then appealed to the Fourth Circuit.

The case is ACLU v. Mukasey.  Attorneys on the case are Chris Hansen and Ben Wizner of the ACLU and Rebecca Glenberg of the ACLU of Virginia.

The ACLU’s appellate briefs are available at http://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/4th-circuit-opening-brief.pdf and http://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Reply-Brief-for-Appellants-ACLU-v.-Holder-2010.2.9.pdf.  The district court complaint is available at http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-et-al-v-mukasey-et-al-complaint.

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , | Leave a comment

American Civilian Wounded in Afghan Helicopter Crash that Killed Nine Service Members

Nine NATO soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday in Afghanistan.

Update:

Four sailors died in a helicopter crash Sept. 21 during combat operations in the Zabul province, Afghanistan; killed were:

Lt. Brendan J. Looney, 29, of Owings, Md., assigned to a West Coast-based SEAL Team;

Senior Chief Petty Officer David B. McLendon, 30, of Thomasville, Ga., assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam O. Smith, 26, of Hurdland, Mo., assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL Team;

Petty Officer 3rd Class Denis C. Miranda, 24, of Toms River, N.J., assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL Team.

_Five soldiers died in a helicopter crash Sept. 21 during combat operations in Zabul province, Afghanistan; killed were:

Maj. Robert F. Baldwin, 39, of Muscatine, Iowa, assigned to Brigade Headquarters 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.;

Chief Warrant Officer Matthew G. Wagstaff, 34, of Orem, Utah, assigned to 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.;

Chief Warrant Officer Jonah D. McClellan, 26, of St. Louis Park, Minn., assigned to 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.;

Staff Sgt. Joshua D. Powell, 25, of Pleasant Plains, Ill., assigned to 6th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.;

Sgt. Marvin R. Calhoun Jr., 23, of Elkhart, Ind., assigned to 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Christian Science Monitor

Nine NATO soldiers died in a helicopter crash Tuesday in Afghanistan, making 2010 officially the deadliest year of the nine-year Afghanistan war.

That somber milestone comes as United States troops take over for British troops in Helmand – one of Afghanistan‘s most troubled southern provinces –amid an ongoing “surge” designed to bring anti-government Taliban militants to heel and shore up a fragile central government in Kabul.

The Taliban took immediate responsibility for the deaths, but NATO said the cause of the crash was still under investigation, according to Agence France-Presse.

AFP quoted a provincial spokesman saying that the helicopter went down in Zabul province in southern Afghanistan, where Taliban still hold sway in many areas. Two other American soldiers, an Afghan soldier and American civilian were wounded in the crash, The Washington Post reported.  Read More here

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment