Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Report: Wartime Contractors Waste, Steal Tens Of Billions — Then Come Back For More

by Dan Froomkin at Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The chairmen of the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting decried on Monday a federal system that has allowed contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan to commit fraud — then get hired again and again.

“For the 200,000 people employed by contractors to provide support and capability in Iraq and Afghanistan, accountability is too often absent, diluted, delayed, or avoided,” Republican co-chair Chris Shays, formerly a longtime congressman from Connecticut, said while calling to order a hearing of the commission Monday.

There are so many barriers to suspending or banning contractors with violations that “untrustworthy contractors can continue profiting from government work, responsible businesses may be denied opportunities, and costs to taxpayers can climb,” Shays said in a statement co-authored with his Democratic co-chair, Michael Thibault, formerly the deputy director of the Defense Contract Audit Agency.

The commission last week issued a blistering interim report to Congress: “At What Risk? Correcting over-reliance on contractors in contingency operations,” which concluded that “misspent dollars run into the tens of billions” out of the nearly $200 billion spent on contracts and grants since 2002 to support military, reconstruction and other U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And that could well be an understatement, the commission noted, because “it might not take full account of ill-conceived projects, poor planning and oversight by the U.S. government, and criminal behavior and blatant corruption by both government and contractor employees.”

Please read the entire article here

February 28, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Pakistan, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contractors & Employees with Security Clearance Earn Average $141,166 in Middle East

Security-cleared professionals based in the Middle East earned on average $141,166 (with bonuses, overtime and danger pay) a decrease from the $148,427 earned a year ago, according to a new survey from ClearanceJobs.com.

In the two war zones, salaries for security-cleared professionals in Iraq are $82,144, slightly ahead of their counterparts in Afghanistan at $81,501.

Average base salaries in the Middle East are $79,732, and 21 percent higher than European based security-cleared professionals who earn $65,947.

However, total compensation in the Middle East is nearly 50 percent higher than Europe when accounting for bonuses, overtime and danger pay. Middle East-based security-cleared professionals earn on average an additional $61,434 or 77 percent of their salaries in other compensation, while Europe-based professionals earn an additional $28,479 or 43 percent of their salaries.

Government contractors report the highest average wages within those countries, while military personnel report the lowest.

Security-cleared professionals working in Iraq are very satisfied with their salaries. Seventy percent of respondents are satisfied, while 19 percent are dissatisfied. This compares to 65 percent of Afghanistan-based security-cleared professionals who are satisfied and 22 percent who feel the opposite.

Please see the original post with comments at Danger Zone Jobs

February 28, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Government Contractor, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insurgents Execute Two Afghan Civilian Contractors in Kandahar

Headquarters Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Feb. 28, 2011) – Insurgents removed two Afghan contractors from their automobiles and executed them on the spot in a rural region of Kandahar province’s Panjwai district Feb. 25.

Coalition forces in the area met with village elders in Panjwai shortly after hearing numerous shots fired Friday afternoon. Elders and children then told the coalition officials about the execution of the two truck drivers. Their vehicles were located later that day.

“They stopped the trucks with machine guns,” said one village elder, “and removed the men from their vehicles. And then they shot them in the head there beside the vehicles.”

February 28, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, ISAF, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | 1 Comment

Court in Peshawar rejects bail for Aaron DeHaven US Contractor

Kaleej Times

PESHAWAR — A court in northwest Pakistan Monday rejected the bail application of an American said to have been working for a private security company who is accused of overstaying his visa.

“The bail application of Aaron Mark DeHaven has been rejected because he had no legal documents,” public prosecutor Javed Ali said in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States are already strained over the arrest last month of a CIA contractor identified as Raymond Davis, who has been charged with murder for shooting dead two men in Lahore.

The United States, insisting that Davis has diplomatic immunity, is demanding his release.

DeHaven was taken into custody on Friday from the Falcon Complex, a residential area in Peshawar, close to the lawless tribal belt near the Afghan border.

Police say his Pakistani visa had expired in October, and that he was working for security contractor Catalyst Services, providing security and accommodation to foreigners working on development projects in the region.

Read the entire story here

February 28, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, State Department | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ArmorGroup Security Guard,Danny Fitzsimons, escapes Death Penalty in Baghdad

People with PTSD can have “heightened levels of physiological arousal,” such as elevated heart rates even though they are not in real danger, Baldwin said.

“Because they feel unsafe, they’re more likely to be triggered into a defense state that might get them out of a traumatic experience that isn’t really happening,” he said.

“During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger,” Baldwin said. “You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening.”

From Learning to Live Again

The Guardian UK Monday February 28, 2011  12:50 GMT

Danny Fitzsimons avoids death penalty and lawyers press for reduced sentence to be served in UK

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s director, said: “If G4S had done the proper checks and risk assessments when Danny applied to work with them, they would have quickly seen that he was suffering from serious PTSD, a consequence of loyally serving his country.

Danny Fitzsimons leaves the Iraqi court where he received a 20-year jail sentence for murder. Immunity for foreign contractors was lifted in 2009. Photograph: Karim Kadim/AP

A British former soldier has been jailed for 20 years by the supreme court of Iraq for the murder of two fellow security contractors, becoming the first westerner to be convicted in the country since the 2003 invasion.

The family of 31-year-old Danny Fitzsimons expressed relief that he had escaped the death penalty and asked Iraqi authorities and the UK government to ensure his safety in prison. Defence lawyers indicated they would try to get the term reduced.

Before his conviction and sentencing in a hearing lasting less than 30 minutes, there had been talks over whether he could be transferred to a British prison. Fitzsimons’s family and campaigners fear for his safety if he is moved outside Baghdad’s Green Zone to the city’s Rusafa prison.

Fitzsimons, from Middleton, Manchester, was accused of shooting fellow Briton Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare in Baghdad, colleagues with the UK security firm ArmorGroup, part of G4S, after an argument in the Green Zone in August 2009. He was also accused of wounding an Iraqi guard while fleeing. The incident happened within 36 hours of his arrival in the city. He had worked in the country before.

Fitzsimons admitted shooting the men but claimed it was in self-defence. The colleagues had been out drinking and the other two tried to kill him during an altercation, he said. Fitzsimons claimed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As he was led from the courtroom by Iraqi guards, he told reporters he was happy with the sentence. Asked whether he thought the trial had been fair, he said: “No.”

In an interview before the sentence, he told the Independent he had been treated “like a dog” in court.

Fitzsimons’s family and his British lawyer, John Tripple, who attended a court session last week, were not present at the hearing. His Iraqi lawyer, Tariq Harb, said: “This is a very good sentence. I saved him from the gallows.”

He told the Guardian he would appeal within 30 days. “I expect the sentence can be lightened to 15 years. The Iraqi law is independent and it is very fair.” Please read the entire story here

February 28, 2011 Posted by | ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, G4S, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments