Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

The Invisible Foreign Subcontractor

David Isenberg at Huffington Post  August 16, 2012

See also Davids blog Institute of Strategic Satire

Last year I wrote a report for the Project on Government Oversight about and subsequently testified to Congress, regarding a Kuwaiti-based KBR subcontractor which had exploited hundreds of third-country nationals (TCN) coming from various South Asian countries.

Some of the subsequent press coverage criticized KBR, but that missed the point. Sure, in several respect KBR could have done much better, but at least it held special inspections documenting atrocious living conditions and threatened to cut off awards to the subcontractor.

But the real story is how little information the U.S. government has over the operations of foreign subcontractors. As I noted in my congressional testimony:

Subcontracting is among the most challenging parts of the U.S. government’s widespread outsourcing of war-related tasks. It works like this: A government agency – most likely the Defense Department, State Department, or U.S. Agency for International Development – will award work to a “prime” contractor. That prime contractor, usually a large American company like Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) or DynCorp International, will often subcontract some or even a majority of its work to other companies, including foreign-owned firms. Those subcontractors sometimes then turn around and subcontract part of the work, and so on.

But in footing the bill for all this work by a network of companies, the U.S. government often doesn’t know who it is ultimately paying. And that can lead to fraud, shoddy work, or even taxpayer funds ending up in the hands of enemy fighters.

For more detail the article “Limitations Of the Contingency Contracting Framework: Finding Effective Ways To Police Foreign Subcontractors In Iraq And Afghanistan” by Carissa N. Tyler in the Winter 2012 issue of the Public Contract Law Journal provides some valuable detail on the scope of this problem. For example, “Subcontractors are responsible for approximately seventy percent of the work of prime contractors; however, the Government has extremely limited visibility into these subcontractors’ operations. U.S. taxpayer dollars are at risk because U.S. agencies cannot directly police foreign subcontractors. ”

Please read the entire article here

August 16, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan Black Hawk helicopter crash leaves 7 U.S. troops, 2 Navy SEALS, 1 EOD, 4 others dead, includes 1 Afghan Interpreter

Sean P. Carson, 32, was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego. Carson was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer, first class.

Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, was one of seven Americans killed in the crash Thursday during a firefight with insurgents northeast of Kandahar, officials said.

Associated Press  August 20, 2012

HONOLULU—U.S. Army officials say four soldiers based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii were killed last week when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed they gunned down the Black Hawk, leading to the crash on Thursday.

Army officials said Monday that among the seven Americans and four Afghans killed were: 37-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Brian Hornsby of Melbourne, Fla., 29-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Suresh Krause, of Cathedral City, Calif., 41-year-old Sgt. Luis Galbreath of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and 23-year-old Sgt. Richard Essex of Kelseyville, Calif.

The soldiers identified were part of Schofield’s 25th Infantry Division.

The crash happened during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan. It’s one of the deadliest air disasters of a war now into its second decade.

Three of the Americans were U.S. Navy sailors – two were Navy SEALS and one was an explosive ordnance disposal sailor.

US Navy SEAL David Warsen

US Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks

US Navy Petty Officer First Class EOD Sean P Carson

Richard Essex

Brian Hornsby

Suresh Krause

Luis Galbreath

Reuters August 16, 2012

Eleven people were killed on Thursday in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, including seven U.S. soldiers and three Afghan allies, the NATO-led force in the country said.

CBS News August 16,  2012

NATO says 11 people, including at least three American troops, have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan.

The nationalities of the other casualties was not immediately confirmed, but a statement to the media from the international military coalition said the dead were, “four International Security Assistance Force service members, three United States Forces-Afghanistan service members, three members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan civilian interpreter.”

Afghan officials told the Reuters news agency the crash took place in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province.

The wording suggests four of the dead were members of the International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan (ISAF) from other allied nations, and three were Afghan service personnel, plus the civilian.

August 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment