Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

FDA secretly monitored private emails of whistleblowers, lawsuit alleges

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Secretly monitored the private emails of staff scientists and doctors who complained to Congress that the agency was approving dangerous medical devices for public use, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the staff members.

Infosecurity January 31, 2012

The current and former employees, who work for an FDA office that approves medical devices, told Congress that the agency was approving medical devices that in fact posed risks to patients.

In response, the FDA began surveillance of the employees’ personal email accounts, which they accessed from government computers, to monitor their communication with congressional staffers, according to a lawsuit filed by the employees. They allege that the information gained from the monitoring was used to harass and, in some cases, dismiss them.

In the lawsuit, the employees allege that FDA managers violated the Constitution by taking their private emails “without due process or just compensation”, conducting unlawful searches and seizures, as well as violating their rights to free speech and association.

The Washington Post has published a large dossier of letters, emails, and memos obtained by the FDA during their surveillance of the employees.

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Government Contractor, Politics, Whistleblower | , , | 1 Comment

Investigators conclude that Air Force illegally punished Dover morgue workers who blew whistle

Washington Post  January 31, 2012

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators have concluded that Air Force officials at the military mortuary in Dover, Del., illegally punished four civilian workers for blowing the whistle on the mishandling of war remains.

The Office of Special Counsel said in a report released Tuesday that they have recommended to the Air Force that it discipline the three officials who allegedly retaliated against the whistleblowers. The three were not identified by name. It said one is an active-duty military member and the other two are civilians.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said in a written statement that he has appointed a two-star general to review the findings and take “appropriate action.” Donley said reprisals against whistleblowers are unacceptable.

Donley said he and the Air Force’s top officer, Gen. Norton Schwartz, “believe strongly there is no place for reprisal in the Air Force. Reprisals against employees are unethical and illegal and counter to Air Force core values.”

In an earlier investigation report released last November, the Office of Special Counsel said it had found “gross mismanagement” at the Dover facility, where small body parts of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan were lost on two occasions. The Air Force said at the time that it took disciplinary action — but did not fire — three senior supervisors there for their role in the mismanagement. The reprisal accusations were a separate matter and were investigated by the Special Counsel under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

The three disciplined in connection with the earlier Special Counsel included Air Force Col. Robert Edmondson, who commanded the Dover mortuary at the time of the incidents, and two civilian supervisors — Trevor Dean and Quinton Keel

Please see the original and read more here

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Director stops illegal sale of Trojan to G4S

KHONANI ONTEBEBETSE at Weekend Post Botswani

The Managing Director of Trojan Security Services Gerhard Brand has filed papers with the High Court in Lobatse to stop the company’s planned acquisition by G4S Security Systems. He says he has never authorised the acquisition of the security company to G4S Security Systems.
In the court papers, Brand contends that the acquisition of Trojan by G4S is unauthorised and illegal and cannot be allowed to go on.
Brand says as the Chairman of the Board and the majority shareholder of Trojan, the Board or a meeting of the shareholders has never authorised Trojan to enter into any transaction with G4S, more so a transaction whereby G4S will ‘acquire’ Trojan.
Brand says he is in the dark as to what G4s intends to do with Trojan after its purported transaction.
“As the chairman of the Board and the majority shareholder, I do not know the terms and conditions of the purported agreement by the Respondent,” says Brand.
Brands holds 99% shareholding and the remaining 1 % is being held by his sister Debbie Ann Cloete (nee Brand).
He says on January 16, he purchased a copy of the Mmegi Monitor newspaper whereupon he was shocked to learn on page 23 that G4S was in the process of acquiring Trojan together with tow operating ‘divisions’ being Hotline Security Services (PTY) LTD and Cyber (PTY) LTD which was subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
Brand said on the same day he called the Managing Director of G4s Security Services who confirmed that indeed G4S has ‘acquired’ Trojan Security Services subject to regulatory approval.

Please read the entire article here

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Africa, G4S, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Theater Clearance Mandatory for USAFRICOM, DoD-Sponsored Travel to Africa

US Africa Command  January 31, 2012

STUTTGART, Germany,

 Jan 31, 2012 — Following an increase in uprisings and various crisis situations in parts of Africa, officials at U.S. Africa Command are taking steps to remind service members assigned to the command and other Department of Defense personnel that a theater clearance is mandatory when traveling to Africa whether in an official capacity or as an active duty service member on leave.

According to the Defense Department’s Foreign Clearance Guide, all DoD-affiliated and sponsored travelers, including military, DoD civilians and contractors, are subject to the clearance process. All DoD members are required to submit a request for clearance, regardless of where they are stationed.

When traveling to Africa, members and their leadership are urged to always check and be familiar with the Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG), which outlines specific requirements for each country and type of travel. Official travel, leave and approval levels differ for each country and travel type. The FCG is the authoritative document that shows the country-by-country requirements for travel to a foreign country.

“For the AFRICOM affiliated countries, clearance is required for all official travel,” said Marla Mann, U.S. AFRICOM theater clearance manager. “What some are surprised about is that it is also required for all military leave travel and recommended for civilian leave travel.”

Mann said there are consequences for violating this directive.

Please read the entire directive here

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Security Clearances | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Britons in Afghanistan face gun charges

BBC News UK  January 31, 2012

Two British private security contractors working in Afghanistan have been charged with carrying unlicensed weapons.

The men, who work for the Canadian company, Garda World, were arrested by police earlier this month in the eastern part of the capital, Kabul.

It is alleged 30 AK-47 assault rifles were found in their vehicle.

Afghan authorities claim the weapons were illegal and many were missing their serial numbers.

It is understood the contractors’ Afghan driver and interpreter have also been charged.

Thousands of private security guards operate in Afghanistan, including many foreigners.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has in the past accused them of undermining the security services and taking work from Afghan nationals.

Please see the original here

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Arrested, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment