Overseas Civilian Contractors

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Private security firms paid £29m last year for contracts in Afghanistan

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act confirm growing reliance on privatisation underpins Britain’s war effort

The Guardian The Observer

Senator Carl Levin briefs the US media on the inquiry by the Senate armed services committee into the role and oversight of private security contractors in Afghanistan. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A record £29m worth of contracts were awarded last year to British private security firms in Afghanistan, fuelling fears over the increasing privatisation of the UK’s military capability.

New figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, confirm that a growing reliance on private firms is underpinning Britain’s war effort. They come as the private security industry regulator reveals it is being encouraged by the government to take a “more extended” role in supporting military operations.

Andy Bearpark, director general of the British Association of Private Security Companies (BAPSC), will meet Foreign Office officials this Wednesday to discuss a closer relationship with Whitehall. He said: “The point is that the British government has just about finalised its position on private security, this will legitimise companies working with the government.”

The £29m spent last year in Afghanistan represents a significant increase compared to the £62.8m spent on security contractors between 2007 and 2009. Most contracts were awarded to G4S, with £23.3m designated to provide “mobile and static security” in Afghanistan. The company is the parent firm of ArmorGroup, the focus of a US Senate inquiry alleging it “relied on a series of warlords to provide armed men” engaged in murder and bribery.

Please read the entire story here

March 5, 2011 - Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor | , , , , ,

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