Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Ronco Consulting, Wackenhut, G4S named in Contractor Lawsuit for EEOC violations

Ronco Consulting was named in the Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit against Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and some Overseas Civilian Contractor Companies.

The EEOC granted a former Ronco Consulting Employee and American Injured War Zone Contractor the Right to Sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after investigating the complaint.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Even those who were disabled due to the negligence of the company in question.

June 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, G4S, Government Contractor, Landmines, Lawsuits, Private Military Contractors, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Veterans, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Contractors Performing Private Security Functions (DFARS Case 2011-D023)

A Rule by the Defense Acquisition Regulations System on 06/15/2012

Action

Final Rule.

Summary

DoD is adopting as final, with changes, an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement those sections of several National Defense Authorization Acts which establish minimum processes and requirements for the selection, accountability, training, equipping, and conduct of personnel performing private security functions under DoD contracts

Unified Agenda

Contractors Performing Private Security Functions (DFARS Case 2011-D023)

 

June 15, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Academi Training Center, XE, Blackwater picks up Afghan DoD Security Services Contract

Defense Professionals  June 13, 2012

(W560MY-12-C-0006)

Academi Training Center, Moyock, N.C., was awarded a $17,448,051 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the security services in support of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Dwyer, and an option for FOB Delaram II. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of May 22, 2016. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 12 bids received. The Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W560MY-12-C-0006).

June 14, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pentagon probes contractor’s taxes, treatment of Afghan workers

USA Today June 11, 2012

WASHINGTON – Pentagon criminal investigators have launched a full probe into the military’s top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan regarding taxes paid by its owners and treatment of its Afghan employees, according to a letter obtained by USA TODAY.

The paper revealed in February that the owners of Leonie Industries had owed more than $4 million in back taxes to the federal government. That debt was settled in March, federal records show. The company has received at least $120 million in Pentagon contracts since 2009.

Rep. John Tierney, a Massachusetts Democrat and a senior member of the oversight committee, requested the Pentagon Inspector General investigation of Leonie in March. He praised the Defense Criminal Investigative Service‘s decision to move beyond its initial inquiry and launched a more formal investigation.

Please see the original and read the entire story here

June 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Taxes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DynCorp Wins $198M For Special Ops Admin Support

GovConWire  June 5, 2012

DynCorp International has won a potential $198,095,668 contract to provide administration and management services to U.S. special operations forces stationed in the Philippines, the Defense Department announced Monday.

The Navy awarded the potential five-year cost-plus-incentive-fee contract, which could include a $180,086,970 target cost and a $18,008,698 maximum target fee.

Support for the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines will include work for command and staff; public safety; air operations and port operations; supply; welfare and recreation; facilities; utilities; base support vehicles and equipment; and environmental services.

See the original and read more at GovConWire

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Government Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Price of Sacrifice

The government decided that contractors are eligible for public honor as civilians, through awards such as the Defense of Freedom Medal. This is described as the “civilian equivalent” of a Purple Heart, as both require the recipient to have been injured or killed. But the contractor is honored as victim; not hero.

While this Medal is available the majority of injured contractors will not receive it

Defense of Freedom Medal Held Hostage by the Defense Base Act

David Isenberg at Huffington Post  May 24, 2012

Please see David’s blog  The Isenberg Institute of Strategic Satire

How should one recognize an act on the battlefield that gets you wounded? If you are a soldier, marine, sailor or airman the answer is easy; you get a Purple Heart. That medal, originally created by General George Washington, is awarded to U.S. soldiers wounded by the enemy in combat. It was ordered by the Continental Congress to stop giving commissions or promotions, since the Congress could not afford the extra pay these entailed, so Washington drew up orders for a Badge of Military Merit made of purple cloth. In 1782 he directed that “whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.”

In short, Washington gave cloth because he could not give money. But if you are a private contractor and you get wounded you don’t get a Purple Heart. You, hopefully, will get medical care and benefits which your employer is required, at least theoretically, to provide under the Defense Base Act.

To Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, a professor at the State University of New York, Buffalo Law School this raises the question as to whether they are forms of value which can be substituted one for the other.

In an essay he wrote, “Value of Valor: Money, Medals and Military Labor,” published earlier this year he explores the divide between money and medals. This raises interesting questions about motivation.

Please read the entire post here

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ronco Consulting named in Contractor Lawsuit for EEOC violations

Ronco Consulting was named in the Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit against Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and some Overseas Civilian Contractor Companies.

The EEOC granted a former Ronco Consulting Employee and American Injured War Zone Contractor the Right to Sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after investigating the complaint.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Even those who were disabled due to the negligence of the company in question.

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Government Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Taxes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

United Nations board of inquiry finds Ronco Consulting failed to find mines

Careful who you follow….

Fartham vs Ronco Consulting

A United Nations Mine Action Employee has filed a lawsuit against Ronco Consulting Corporation for negligence after stepping on a landmine resulting in an immediate below the knee amputation in an area previously cleared by and certified clear of landmines by Ronco Consulting.

The United Nations board of inquiry found that Ronco failed to find the mine that injured Mr Fartham as well as three other mines.

The complaint states that Ronco Consulting, acting through it’s agents and/or employee’s, breached it’s professional duty of care to Fantham and did not exercise the reasonable care and skill expected of professional mine clearance companies.

Fartham vs Ronco Consulting

May 10, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Government Contractor, Landmines, Lawsuits, Mine Clearance, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations, Vetting Employees | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Federal contractors get 10 percent raise

“Excessive reimbursements are wrong and must stop,” Mack said. “We call on Congress to follow the lead of those members who have already recognized the importance of lowering the executive compensation cap so that taxpayers are no longer liable for these wasteful and unnecessary payments.”

Washington Post  Joe Davidson  The Federal Diary May 7, 2012

Uncle Sam isn’t as flush as he used to be, but he still has enough money to pay individual private contractors as much as $763,029.

That’s the federal cap on reimbursement to executives of private firms doing government work. The cap was raised in April, from $693,951, by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy

It’s worth pointing out that this 10 percent raise comes as federal employees are in the midst of a two-year freeze on basic pay rates.

But Obama administration officials had no choice in raising the cap. The compensation formula was set by law.

“In accordance with an outdated statute, the federal government was forced to raise the cap on agency reimbursements to contractors for the pay of senior executives who contract with the government,” said Moira Mack, an Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman. “With this latest congressionally mandated increase, taxpayers will be on the hook for contractor reimbursements far in excess of what is reasonable.”

A notice to federal agency heads, from Lesley A. Field, acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said “this rate of growth in the cap . . . has far outpaced the rate of inflation, the rate of growth of private-sector salaries generally, and the rate of growth of Federal salaries — forcing our taxpayers to reimburse contractors for levels of executive compensation that cannot be justified for Federal contract work

Please see the original and read more here

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Follow the Money, Government Contractor | , , | Leave a comment

SIGIR Speaks

David Isenberg Huffington Post  April 30, 2012

Today the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has released its latest quarterly report. Here is what happening with private contractors in Iraq.

As of April 3, 2012, the Department of State (DoS) reported that 12,755 personnel supported the U.S. Mission in Iraq, down about 8 percent from the previous quarter. Current staffing comprises 1,369 civilian government employees and 11,386 (U.S., local national, and third country national) contractors. (89 percent of the total).

Of these contractors, DoS estimated that about 2,950 provided security-related services for DoS sites, down more than 22 percent from last quarter (3,800).

In February, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides said that DoS will continue to reduce the number of contractors over the coming months in an attempt to “right size” Embassy operations.

The Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I) manages U.S. security assistance to the Government of Iraq. OSC-I is staffed by 145 U.S. military personnel, nine Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, and 4,912 contractors.

But according to SIGIR, DoS tends to undercount the number of contractors working in Iraq. It found that:

In early April, DoS asserted that only 6 U.S. government employees and 48 contractors work on what it considers reconstruction programs. This total does not include any of the several hundred personnel working under the auspices of the PDP, [Police Development Program] which remains the single-most expensive ongoing initiative financed by DoS for the benefit of Iraq. Nor does it include any of the hundreds of employees and contractors supporting the missions of OSC-I and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), though both agencies oversee projects paid for with U.S. reconstruction funds.

According to the Defense Department, if you include the OSC-I contractors, the total for private security contractors rises to 3,577.

The takeaway is that after all these years the U.S. government still has problems tracking the number of contractors working in Iraq. The SIGIR report found that:

While SPOT [Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker database, administered by DoD] data provides SIGIR with a comprehensive view of contractor and grantee personnel in Iraq, significant apparent differences exist between agency-reported contractor numbers and SPOT data. For example, DoS reported to SIGIR that there were almost 11,400 contractors supporting Mission Iraq as of April 3, 2012, while SPOT data shows 5,172 working for DoS.276 In addition, USAID reported that 1,854 contractors are currently working on USAID projects in Iraq.277 However, SPOT data shows only 110 USAID contractor and grantee personnel in Iraq as of April 1, 2012. SIGIR intends to investigate these discrepancies and provide an update in the July 2012 Quarterly Report.

With regard to security contractors the Government of Iraq (GOI) announced in February that 124 private security firms were registered to work for foreign government entities and private firms engaged in activities in Iraq, but the GOI has taken steps to minimize the presence and scope of these firms. According to the GOI, the Security and Defense Committee of the Council of Representatives has drafted legislation to reduce the number of PSC firms working in Iraq from 124 to 63. Of the remaining firms, 15 to 20 would be foreign firms and the rest would be Iraqi.

On the fraud front, some of SIGIR’s noteworthy investigations were:

Three former officers of a U.S. defense contractor, the wife of one of the officers, and four foreign nationals were indicted for their alleged roles in a fraud and moneylaundering scheme involving contracts for reconstruction projects in Iraq. The defendants were also are charged with an aggregate of 74 wire-fraud offenses.A British citizen and his company were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay kickbacks in exchange for receiving more than $23 million in DoD subcontracts from April 2006 to August 2008. The British contractor allegedly paid more than $947,500 in unlawful kickbacks to two employees of a prime contractor to the U.S. government in order to obtain these subcontracts for work performed in support of the Coalition Munitions Clearance Program (CMCP).

David Welch, a former U.S. civilian contract employee, pled guilty to conspiring to steal 38 U.S. military generators and sell them on the Iraqi black market.

As of April 10, SIGIR is continuing to work on 110 open investigations.

There are a number of PSC firms working on the Police Development Program; especially in providing security at the Baghdad Police College Annex (BPAX). At BPAX, Triple Canopy, Inc., contractors provide protective details and escort PDP convoys. Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC, provides perimeter security, with Iraqi Security Forces guarding the outer perimeter. EOD Technology, Inc., operates the counter-mortar and counterrocket system, and three U.S. military personnel are attached to the RSO explosive ordnance disposal unit. Another U.S. contractor provides a computer technician who manages the classified email system used by PDP personnel.

 Follow David Isenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanidan

April 30, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Government Contractor, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, Security Clearances, SIGIR, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Corruption investigation of disaster-recovery firm takes aim at former FBI supervisor

The Times Picayune  Nola.com  April 17, 2012

Robert Isakson was once the fair-haired boy of the FBI in New Orleans. Thirty years later, the public corruption squad he once ran is investigating him.

Sources close to the investigation say the FBI is looking at payments and gratuities former Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle, his driver, and companies affiliated with the two allegedly received from Isakson’s Mobile, Ala.-based disaster-recovery firm, DRC Inc. Shortly after that, DRC got two contracts from Hingle’s office worth about $3 million.

It’s a staggering revelation because Isakson has carefully cultivated an image as a justice-seeking government contractor, blowing the whistle on the most brazen war profiteer in post-Saddam Iraq and refusing to pay bribes in Honduras to help that country recover from Hurricane Mitch. His former colleagues looked up to him and thought of him as a straight arrow.

Please see the original and read more here

April 18, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Government Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

GAO Finds Pentagon Still Can’t Keep Track of Its Contractors

By NEIL GORDON at POGO  April 10, 2012

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the second of three annual reviews of Department of Defense (DoD) service contract inventories. As you know, POGO has repeatedly called for the government to improve the quality of these annual inventories, which are crucial for determining the true size and cost-effectiveness of the federal service contractor workforce and whether contractors are performing inherently governmental functions.

According to the GAO, DoD spent $204 billion on service contracts in fiscal year 2010. DoD relies on contractors to perform a wide variety of services, including professional and management support, information technology, and weapon system and intelligence functions.

The GAO reported that DoD has made a number of changes to improve the utility of the FY 2010 inventory, such as centrally preparing contract data to provide greater consistency among DoD components and increasing the level of detail on the services provided. However, the GAO found a number of problems that continue to limit the utility, accuracy, and completeness of inventories. DoD, to its credit, is making progress, but it does not expect to fully meet statutory requirements until FY 2016.

In the meantime, the shortcomings in DoD’s systems for compiling and reviewing inventories leave contractors free to run amok. According to the GAO, Army and Air Force inventory reviews identified 1,935 and 91 instances, respectively, in which contractors were performing inherently governmental functions. These are functions which, by law, must be performed by federal government employees.

For example, the GAO found 26 instances of Army contractors performing the inherently governmental function of Systems Coordinator, a position that involves representing program managers at meetings, acting as a liaison with Congress, and writing background papers for military staff. In another example, the entire police force at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (pictured above) was made up of 47 contractors patrolling, issuing citations, making arrests, and investigating misdemeanors. (Check the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart listing examples of inherently governmental functions, and the first one you’ll see is “the direct conduct of criminal investigations.”)

Please see the original and read more here

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Guard soldiers say contractor knew about toxin

KTVL TV 10 Portland Associated Press  April 4, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A military contractor knew an Iraqi water treatment plant’s lax environmental standards let a toxic chemical contaminate the area, but never disclosed it to Oregon National Guard soldiers who were sickened, the soldiers said in a complaint filed Wednesday.

The complaint in U.S. District Court in Oregon alleges Kellogg, Brown and Root knew about the presence of sodium dichromate at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant months before the date they originally gave in testimony and depositions.

A message left Wednesday for KBR was not immediately returned.

Sodium dichromate is an anticorrosive compound that can cause skin and breathing problems and cancer.

The soldiers, suffering from myriad respiratory problems, migraines and lung issues, sued KBR in June 2009.

The company acknowledged the presence of sodium dichromate in July 2003; a former employee later revealed an email to his managers that showed the company knew of the chemical in June 2003.

But the report uncovered by the soldiers’ attorneys points to KBR knowing about the presence of sodium dichromate in January 2003.

The soldiers say they only learned of the alleged misrepresentation in late February, after a Department of Defense inspector general investigation directed them to a 2002 KBR assessment of the plant.

Attorneys for the soldiers called the company’s earlier explanation “deliberate, calculated concealment,” according to the complaint. Guard soldiers from Oregon, Indiana and West Virginia who provided security at the Qarmat Ali water plant are involved in suits against KBR.

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Halliburton, KBR, Toxic | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon, FBI investigating Defense contractor for Iranian ties

Gov Exec  April 4, 2012

A new watchdog report finds that the FBI and the Pentagon are quietly investigating whether military contractor Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co. has illegal ties to Iran, despite assurances from the Defense Department that there is no indication the company’s business dealings ever violated U.S. law.

The report by the Project on Government Oversight finds that the contractor, known as KGL, continues to hold $1 billion worth of contracts with the U.S. military as the FBI and the Pentagon’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service probe allegations that it deals with Iranian shipping interests, ports, and front companies despite sanctions meant to derail Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. “No contractor to the U.S. military has ever been debarred for doing business with Iran, so KGL could emerge as a test case,” POGO’s Adam Zagorin writes.

The investigation is at least a year old, according to documents and interviews, and appears to remain active. POGO writes that federal agents at Dulles airport pulled aside a senior KGL executive trying to enter the country and questioned him for hours about the firm’s ties to Iran.

Ashton Carter, currently the Pentagon’s No. 2 official, wrote a letter to Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., on July 15 saying that the U.S. found “no indication” KGL ever “violated U.S. law.” Kirk had provided internal company documents to the Pentagon that apparently indicated KGL had illegal ties to Iran and asked for an explanation. Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Miss., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla. — as well as Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and former Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla. — have all asked “pointed” questions and received similar assurances from Carter, according to POGO.

Please see the original and read more here

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Iran, Pentagon | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GOP, Dems come together to fight human trafficking by contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan

The Hill

A bipartisan group of members from the House and Senate proposed legislation on Monday that seeks to crack down on human trafficking by contractors that the U.S. military hires for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act is a reaction to reports from the Commission on Wartime Contracting and the inspectors general of the Defense and State departments that overseas contractors are known to engage in practices that are illegal under U.S. employee rights standards. These include seizing workers’ passports to trap them at a work site, lying about compensation, engaging in sexual abuse and generally keeping workers in a state of indentured servitude.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the lead Senate sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would help improve the treatment of third-country workers who are lured to work in Iraq and Afghanistan only to be defrauded or enslaved.

“Modern-day slavery by government contractors — unknowingly funded by American taxpayers — is unconscionable and intolerable,” Blumenthal said. “Current law prohibiting human trafficking is insufficient and ineffective, failing to prevent or punish abuses

Blumenthal’s bill, S. 2234, is also co-sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The House companion bill, H.R. 4259, was sponsored by Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), and is co-sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

Issa’s committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., with Blumenthal and Portman expected to testify on the bill at that time

Please see the original and read more here

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Human Trafficking, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment