Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Army orders $27.5 million in Comtech tracking system

Newsday Business Briefs

Melville defense contractor Comtech Telecommunications Corp. says it has received new orders worth $27.5 million from the U.S. Army for a vehicle tracking and communications system that has proved valuable in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and in domestic emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina.

Comtech said it got the new orders as part of an existing Army contract for MT-2012 satellite transceivers. The Movement Tracking Systems are made by Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp., a Germantown, Md., subsidiary, and allow the military to track its vehicles and communicate with them via satellite links, even in deserts and other isolated war zones, eliminating the need for radio repeaters or other hardware.  See the original here

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contract Awards, Contracts Awarded, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Efraim Diveroli, AEY, Sentenced for Defrauding the Defense Department

The sale of banned Chinese ammunition to the U.S. Army in Afghanistan landed the 25-year-old from Miami Beach in trouble, and led to his guilty plea.

Efraim Diveroli after his arrest for drunk driving on Miami Beach in 2008. MIAMI-DADE

BY JAY WEAVER at The Miami Herald

jweaver@MiamiHerald.com

Efraim Diveroli, an arms-dealing wunderkind from Miami Beach who had scored a $300 million munitions contract with the Pentagon, was sentenced Monday to four years in prison by a federal judge who scolded him for a life of deception, gambling and substance abuse.

Diveroli, now 25, captured the attention of Congress when he was arrested in 2008 on charges of selling banned Chinese ammunition to the U.S. Army to supply Afghan forces fighting insurgents. He pleaded guilty the next year to one count of conspiring to defraud the Department of Defense.

“It is a sad day when anyone values their self-worth by a dollar sign,” U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard told Diveroli, whose emotional sentencing was attended by about 50 family members and supporters.

“If it wasn’t so amazing, you would laugh that such a young man could attain such responsibilities,” she said, noting he won the massive military contract when he was only 21 years old.

“But to participate in such a fraud when people are putting their lives on the line, it makes it so much sadder,” she said. “It makes the heart ache. And all for money.”

Please read the entire story here

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Department of Defense, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

LAOS: Female deminers attract fans but little funding

Photo: Phuong Tran/ IRIN Female deminers -- lots of photos, but not so much funding

At Irin Humanitarian News and Analysis

XIENGKHUANG, 4 January 2011 (IRIN) – In the two years since the Laos government set up the first team of women clearing unexploded ordnance (UXO), they have had lots of attention, but this has not translated into increased funding, says the UN, which is supporting government programmes.

“It was quite in vogue with donors to have all-female teams,” said John Dingley, the UN’s senior technical adviser working with the government’s UXO Lao clearance programme. “But more than that, these are good jobs and we want to create as many opportunities as possible for women in post-conflict settings.”

However, UXO Lao faces a US$1.4 million funding shortfall.

Laos is the most heavily bombed country, per capita, after more than two million tons of UXO – mostly cluster bomblets – were dropped between 1964 and 1973, according to the government’s National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action.

While there have been women working in the government’s clearance operation since it began in 1996, the government only started grouping all-female teams (albeit with a male mechanic/driver) in 2008, following the lead of the British demining NGO, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), which has worked in the country since 1994 and launched all-female UXO clearance teams in Laos in 2007.

Lou McGrath, MAG’s chief executive, described MAG’s “ladies first” initiative as a “genuine move to redress gender balance in the UXO sector”. Please read the entire article here

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Demining, NGO's | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attorney Calls for More Prosecutions of Corruption in Defense Contracts

by Adam Klasfeld at Courthouse News

MANHATTAN (CN) – After a federal jury convicted an Army captain of corruption with military contractors in Iraq, an attorney who has spent years on such cases said that such prosecutions are rare – and much needed. “For several years, we were very worried because we just saw a complete lack of any sort of fraud prosecution against defense contractors,” Susan Burke said.
“Given the dollars being spent on both these wars, it’s imperative for the United States to continue to root out fraud,” Burke added.
Burke, who has specialized in cases involving misconduct by contractors and military personnel, has represented victims of torture, abuse and murder at Abu Ghraib prison and Nisour Square in Iraq.
Last year, her Iraqi clients settled seven civil lawsuits alleging “senseless slaughter” by guards of the company formerly known as Blackwater, now operating under the name Xe.
Burke says she still has three active lawsuits against defense contractors CACI and L-3, on behalf of Iraqis who say they were tortured at detention centers in Iraq.
She also has an active suit against Blackwater founder Erik Prince and his entities, on behalf of a married couple who used to work for him. The husband and wife Burke represents sued under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to sue contractors on behalf of the federal government for fraud.
Burke spoke to Courthouse News after Army Capt. Bryant Williams was convicted of corruption in December. Williams was on active duty at the time.
Burke said she has been trying for years to get the federal government to pursue cases against defense corruption cases more aggressively – to little avail.
“We’ve been following, essentially, the lack of actions by the Department of Justice with regard to the torture issues,” Burke said, “and we keep an eye on the federal prosecutions against defense contractors on the fraud issue.”
The Uniform Code of Military Justice prevents the military from prosecuting corporate employees, leaving the Department of Justice the exclusive authority to prosecute crimes by military contractors, Burke said.

Please read Susan Burkes statements in their entirety here

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Legal Jurisdictions, Pentagon, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment