Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

The DynCorp “See No Evil” Monkey

by David Isenberg at Huffington Post and The PMSC Observer

On January 30 I wrote a post regarding sexual violence by private contractors. Though the most flagrant instances have occurred in the past, it is still a problem.

Although I was not singling out any company in particular I did mention DynCorp because it served as the inspiration for the movie The Whistleblower that came out last year. This relates to the infamous cases of sex trafficking and slavery in Bosnia back in the Balkan wars of the nineties.

Okay, stuff happens. Although other things have happened with DynCorp, more specifically the DynCorp International division, over the years, it is a big company and employs lots of people. One should not tar every company with the sins of a past employee.

As big corporations go DynCorp, in my limited experience, is very decent. Full disclosure: years ago, I worked three years for one of its arms control units, not DynCorp International, and found the people there highly professional and very ethical.

Still, my past post evidently did not go down well at DynCorp HQ. I was emailed a response by one of their vice presidents taking me to task for my presumed sins. At the request of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in London, which had listed my post in their weekly update, they emailed a similar response to them.

I fully understand that DynCorp wants to put the best possible face on this issue but I feel its response is a little too self-serving so let me just do some parsing of some of its statement.

With regard to the movie it writes,

‘The Whistleblower’ centers on allegations of human trafficking, a serious crime and global problem. Although the Company was never contacted by the filmmakers to obtain even a basic description of past work in Bosnia, to fact-check allegations or to obtain our position on these issues, when the Company reached out to the representatives for the filmmakers to gain more information about the movie, we were informed that the film, in the distributor’s words, ‘is a fictionalized, dramatic presentation.

I realize that in times long past it was popular to kill the messenger but that is supposedly out of fashion nowadays. DynCorp seems to think the filmmaker, who is Larysa Kondracki, had an obligation to contact them to get their spin. She did not…..

Please continue to Huff Post to read the entire post

February 10, 2012 Posted by | Balkans, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, DynCorp, Human Trafficking, NATO, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault, Vetting Employees | , , , , | Leave a comment

PMC Sexual Violence: It’s Still a Problem

David Isenberg at Huffington Post   January 30, 2012

Also see at David’s blog The PMSC Observer

In one of those rare, “perfect storm” of coincidences, three events converge to provide the topic for this column. First, the latest issue of the in-house magazine, the arriviste named “Journal of International Peace Operations,” published by ISOA, a PMSC trade group, is devoted to the topic of “Women & International Security.”

Since ISOA, like any good trade group, generally tries to dismiss any criticism of its member companies, as being the ravings of liberal hacks in pursuit of a “spicy merc” story, it is interesting to note that the very first article in the issue states:

Companies need to adopt institutional measures to prevent and address cases of misconduct. Appropriate gender training for PMSC personnel, alongside training in international humanitarian law and human rights law – as recommended by the Montreux Document on PMSCs -will help to create a more gender-aware institution, thus preventing human rights abuses and reputation loss. Having clear rules of behaviour and mechanisms to punish individuals responsible for human rights violations will benefit the host populations, individual companies and the industry as a whole.

Second, the recent release in the UK of last year’s movie, The Whistleblower, a fictionalized version of the involvement of DynCorp contractors in sex trafficking and slavery in Bosnia back in the nineties, serves to remind us that despite DynCorp’s rhetoric over the subsequent years not nearly enough has changed.

For those whose memories have faded, employees of DynCorp were accused of buying and keeping women and girls as young as 12 years old in sexual slavery in Bosnia. Perhaps even more shocking is that none of those involved have ever been held accountable within a court of law. The United States subsequently awarded DynCorp a new contract worth nearly $250 million to provide training to the developing Iraqi police force, even though the company’s immediate reaction to reports of the crimes was to fire the whistle-blowers.

As an article in the Jan. 29, Sunday Telegraph noted:

Most disappointing of all was what happened next: several men were sent home, but none was punished further. No future employer will know what these men were guilty of. I asked DynCorp if its guidelines had become more stringent since 2001 and was sent its code of ethics. It states that ‘engaging in or supporting any trafficking in persons […] is prohibited. Any person who violates this standard or fails to report violations of this standard shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.’ So nothing has changed.

By the way, from a strictly observational viewpoint, given other problems DynCorp has had over the years since that took place, from dancing boys in Afghanistan to the recent settling of an EEOC suit regarding sexual harassment of one of its workers in Iraq, DynCorp is the Energizer Bunny of sexual harassment; it just keeps giving and giving and giving; doubtlessly reporters around the world are grateful.

Please read the entire post here

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Balkans, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Human Trafficking, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Politics, Private Military Contractors, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contractor Accountability and Human Trafficking at Center of Upcoming Film, The Whistleblower

By NICK SCHWELLENBACH at POGO  August 2, 2011For those looking for more of the backstory on Dyncorp whistleblowers Ben Johnston and Kathyrn Bolkovac, whose tale is the subject of the movie The Whistleblower, (opening in theaters this Friday, see trailer above), I have unearthed material from an interview I conducted with Bolkovac and some related research last year.

The material was chopped from a story I was working on for The Washington Post because of space considerations. Here’s the draft section that was cut:

Roughly a decade ago, two Dyncorp employees reported that some of their fellow employees were involved in the buying and selling of women and young girls in Bosnia. Dyncorp is a U.S. defense and security contractor that held U.S. logistics and security contracts for work in the former Yugoslavia.

Both were fired, retaliation for their whistle-blowing they said.

“The only reason they fired me was because I told on them, and I broke up their little boys’ club,” former Dyncorp employee Ben Johnston said at a congressional hearing in 2002.

A helicopter mechanic working for Dyncorp on an Air Force contract, Johnston had observed Dyncorp employees with young girls believed to have been purchased and employees bragging about buying and selling them in 1999 and 2000.

His allegations were investigated by the Army but after some initial work that did turn up significant evidence of trafficking, including a confession by one employee that women were sold “permanently,” they turned the investigation over to the local police. But the local police erroneously did not believe they could prosecute American contractors, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Nor did the Army investigators interview a Moldovan woman who was purchased, explore allegations that Johnston’s supervisors had raped a woman or that she or other women had been trafficked.

“There is my supervisor, the biggest guy there [in Bosnia] with DynCorp, videotaping having sex with these girls, girls saying no,” Johnston said at the hearing, referring to a video turned over to Army investigators, “but that guy now, to my knowledge, he is in America doing fine. There was no repercussion for raping the girl.”

In addition to the Army’s investigation, a Department of Defense Office of Inspector General assessment found evidence that contractor employees were involved in trafficking, the latter finding that it “continues to be an issue” in Bosnia as late as December 2003. However, no prosecutions for trafficking came as a result.

Johnston reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount with the company hours a British panel ruled against Dyncorp in another similar case and days before his case was to go to trial in Texas in August 2002.

The other company insider was Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraskan deployed by Dyncorp on a State Department contract as part of the U.S. contingent of the International Police Task Force there.

An October 9, 2000, e-mail she wrote, entitled, “Do Not Read This if You Have a Weak Stomach or Guilty Conscience,” was sent to more than 50 U.N. personnel in Bosnia detailing the involvement in trafficking of various aspects of the international force of which she was part. It started a chain reaction that led to her firing the following April, she said.

She won before a British employment tribunal in August 2002 that ordered Dyncorp to pay her nearly $180,000.

But she saw little government action to investigate her specific allegations, said Bolkovac, a former policewoman. In her estimation of what was done: “pretty much zero.”

On the issues she raised in Bosnia, “there’s nobody willing to go the extra mile and do the investigation,” she said.

But other roadblocks also existed. “Get rid of the victim and get ride of the perpetrator and you don’t have a case,” Bolkovac told me, referring to the pattern of sending offenders and victims back to their home countries.

These cases and the media attention they garnered played out around the same time President George W. Bush issued his government-wide “zero tolerance” trafficking policy in 2002 and spoke before the U.N. General Assembly in 2003.

Since Bosnia, DynCorp has continued to win large and important contracts with the U.S. government, including contracts to train police in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But accusations of continued involvement of its employees in prostitution followed it beyond the Balkans – at least according to one former DynCorp subcontractor who testified before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee in 2008.

Dyncorp employees ran a “prostitution ring” that imported prostitutes from Kuwait into Baghdad in armored vehicles and operated out of hotels along the Tigris River, according to Barry Halley, a former Dyncorp subcontractor. The women appeared to be adults from Eastern Europe, he said.

Halley observed this in early 2004 before switching jobs

August 2, 2011 Posted by | Balkans, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Iraq, Rape, Sexual Assault, Whistleblower | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fluor employee victim of brutal rape at FOB Shank in Afghanistan Critical in Germany

Updates:  Fluor states that the rape victim did not die but is in critical condition in Germany.

This post has been edited to correct errors in the original that reported the victim had died in Germany of her injuries.-Yes, sometimes I get it wrong too. Ms Sparky-July 26, 2011

Cross Posted from MsSparky  July 25, 2011

I’ve just learned there’s been a brutal   at in . The victim was reportedly a female Fluor employee from the Macedonia region.

I’m not certain of the date, but the attack occurred between July 17-22. She was reportedly found unconscious and was medi-vac’d to Bagram Air Field (BAF) and then to Germany where it has been reported, she died of her injuries.

This crime has apparently got the entire FOB locked down. Hopefully, they’ll find the person(s) who committed this heinous crime and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

This is but another on the long list of tragic rapes and murders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As soon as I get more information on this sad tragedy I will update the post.

My most heartfelt condolences to the friends, family and co-workers of this victim.

Ms Sparky

July 25, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contractor Casualties, Fluor, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Jury rejects woman’s rape claims in KBR suit

Houston Chronicle  July 8, 2011

Jurors in a Houston federal courtroom on Friday rejected a former Conroe woman’s claims she was drugged and gang-raped while working for Kellogg Brown and Root in Iraq in 2005.

The jury also rejected Jamie Leigh Jones’ fraud claims against the Houston-based defense contractor.

Jones, 26, had sued KBR and former KBR fireman Charles Boartz, accusing the company of creating a “sexually hostile working environment” at its Camp Hope installation in Iraq in 2005. She named Boartz as one of the alleged rapists.

Boartz, 34, denied raping Jones, saying the two engaged in consensual sex. The jurors agreed with Boartz.

The jury also found that KBR did not commit fraud by inducing Jones to enter into an employment contract.

By answering “no” to those two questions, jurors were not obligated to continue deliberations on other questions in the jury charge.

The month-long trial ended earlier this week, with both sides delivering closing statements on Thursday. The jury deliberated about five hours on Thursday and six hours Friday.

Jones sued KBR in 2007, accusing employees of the former Halliburton subsidiary of imprisoning her in a shipping container for more than six hours after she reported the alleged attack. She testified during the trial that she was denied food, water or the opportunity to call home for help.

In closing statements Thursday, Jones’ lawyers said the company gave the green light for other employees to commit similar offenses by neglecting to enforce its sexual harassment policies as far back as the late 1990s.

Lawyers for KBR and Boartz accused Jones of making up the attack, pointing out that doctors’ tests showed no sign of drugs in her system after the alleged incident. Defense attorneys throughout the trial accused Jones of lying repeatedly on company documents and questioned what they said where inconsistencies in her story.

Jones’ lawyers asked jurors to order KBR to pay up to 5 percent of its net worth in actual and punitive damages, which they said would have amounted to more than $114 million

Please see the original story at The Houston Chronicle

 

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Defines Sexual Assault for Contractors

From Courthouse News Service July 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Department of Defense has issued regulations to ensure private military contractor employees accompanying U.S. Armed Forces are made aware of the agency’s definition of sexual assault.
The regulations clarify that many of the offenses addressed in the definition are covered under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The regulations also require contractors to make employees aware that some sexual assault offenses in the definition are not covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but they may nevertheless have consequences to contractor employees.
“[T]he term ‘sexual assault’ is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy (oral or anal sex), and other unwanted sexual contact that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts,” according to Department of Defense Directive 6495.01 E2.1.13, as amended in 2008. The same section also defines consent.

Please go to Courthouse News Service to see the document

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, Sexual Assault | , , , | Leave a comment

Female Foreign Correspondents’ Code of Silence, Finally Broken

This piece was co-published in the New York Times as Why we need Woman in War Zones

By Kim Barker at ProPublica

Thousands of men blocked the road, surrounding the S.U.V. of the chief justice of Pakistan, a national hero for standing up to military rule. As a correspondent for The Chicago Tribune, I knew I couldn’t just watch from behind a car window. I had to get out there.

So, wearing a black headscarf and a loose, long-sleeved red tunic over jeans, I waded through the crowd and started taking notes: on the men throwing rose petals, on the men shouting that they would die for the chief justice, on the men sacrificing a goat.

And then, almost predictably, someone grabbed my buttocks. I spun around and shouted, but then it happened again, and again, until finally I caught one offender’s hand and punched him in the face. The men kept grabbing. I kept punching. At a certain point — maybe because I was creating a scene — I was invited into the chief justice’s vehicle.

At the time, in June 2007, I saw this as just one of the realities of covering the news in Pakistan. I didn’t complain to my bosses. To do so would only make me seem weak. Instead, I made a joke out of it and turned the experience into a positive one: See, being a woman helped me gain access to the chief justice.

And really, I was lucky. A few gropes, a misplaced hand, an unwanted advance — those are easily dismissed. I knew other female correspondents who weren’t so lucky, those who were molested in their hotel rooms, or partly stripped by mobs. But I can’t ever remember sitting down with my female peers and talking about what had happened, except to make dark jokes, because such stories would make us seem different from the male correspondents, more vulnerable. I would never tell my bosses for fear that they might keep me at home the next time something major happened.

I was hardly alone in keeping quiet. The Committee to Protect Journalists may be able to say that 44 journalists from around the world [2] were killed last year because of their work, but the group doesn’t keep data [3] on sexual assault and rape. Most journalists just don’t report it.

The CBS correspondent Lara Logan has broken that code of silence. She has covered some of the most dangerous stories in the world, and done a lot of brave things in her career. But her decision to go public earlier this week with her attack by a mob in Tahrir Square in Cairo was by far the bravest. Hospitalized for days, she is still recuperating from the attack, described by CBS as a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating.

Several commentators have suggested [4] that Ms. Logan was somehow at fault: because she’s pretty; because she decided to go into the crowd; because she’s a war junkie. This wasn’t her fault. It was the mob’s fault. This attack also had nothing to do with Islam. Sexual violence has always been a tool of war. Female reporters sometimes are just convenient.

In the coming weeks, I fear that the conclusions drawn from Ms. Logan’s experience will be less reactionary but somehow darker, that there will be suggestions that female correspondents should not be sent into dangerous situations. It’s possible that bosses will make unconscious decisions to send men instead, just in case. Sure, men can be victims, too — on Wednesday a mob beat up a male ABC reporter in Bahrain [5], and a few male journalists have told of being sodomized by captors — but the publicity around Ms. Logan’s attack could make editors think, “Why take the risk?” That would be the wrong lesson. Women can cover the fighting just as well as men, depending on their courage.

More important, they also do a pretty good job of covering what it’s like to live in a war, not just die in one. Without female correspondents in war zones, the experiences of women there may be only a rumor.

Look at the articles about women who set themselves on fire in Afghanistan to protest their arranged marriages, or about girls being maimed by fundamentalists, about child marriage in India, about rape in Congo and Haiti. Female journalists often tell those stories in the most compelling ways, because abused women are sometimes more comfortable talking to them. And those stories are at least as important as accounts of battles.

There is an added benefit. Ms. Logan is a minor celebrity, one of the highest-profile women to acknowledge being sexually assaulted. Although she has reported from the front lines, the lesson she is now giving young women is probably her most profound: It’s not your fault. And there’s no shame in telling it like it is.

Please see the original at ProPublica

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Journalists, Pakistan, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Gov contractors ruining my sex life!

by Roadette at The Daily Kos
Fri Jul 09, 2010

See, our Congress Critters have allowed the civilian contractor company that takes in $24 Billion in revenues, Express Scripts, to decide that my man (who has military pharmacy benefits) can have 6 Cialis or Levitra pills per month. Now if we are feeling a little frisky on the 7th or 8th day per month…say every Friday and Saturday…well, too bad. He’ll just have to get over his PTSD-caused ED some other way.

This isn’t exactly my story, but it sure as hell is somebody’s story…follow me over the fold for more details. (Not on my sex life, you voyeurs, but on the company that is screwing over the love lives of active and former military folks…

OK, here’s the deal. I am fortunate enough to have a sigoth (contraction for that detestable phrase, significant other), who is both brave and passionate…yes, lucky me. He has an enlarged prostate, and has to take medication for it that causes some level of ED. So he got a prescription for Cialis. Yay!!! Does it work? As the doc said…diamond cutter. Way cool (no wait, way hot).

Worked so well, he sent away for a 90-day supply. That is when this $24B company started screwing us instead of allowing us to take care of it ourselves. For the past three weeks, Express Scripts has lied to my sigoth (OK, made mistakes and contradictory statements), insulted him, jerked both him and his busy doctor around, refused service, and ultimately interfered with our planned activities.  Read the Entire Post here

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sexual Assault, Veterans | , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR mandates “no more pimping, pandering or brothels” for LOGCAP employees

May 27, 2010 — Ms Sparky

I think I worked with the guy on the right!! LOL

Earlier this month, KBR management put together an informative power point presentation regarding compensation and benefit changes for those transitioning from LOGCAP III to LOGCAP IV in Iraq. I would assume their intention was to ease employee concerns and squelch any rumors that are bound to arise in a transition such as this. Not an unreasonable management approach.

As I read through the presentation the changes seemed in line with what I already knew. On pages 5 & 6 under “Additions to Employment Agreement” I was glad to see this statement:

Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act – Under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) persons employed by or accompanying the U.S. Armed Forces outside the United States are potentially subject to prosecution for certain criminal acts, including such acts occurring outside the United States. MEJA applies only to those crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than one year if committed within United States jurisdiction. The law applies to individuals accompanying a contractor for the US armed forces, which may include a dependent of a DOD contractor or subcontractor employee. This law authorizes DOD law enforcement personnel to arrest suspected offenders in accordance with applicable international agreements and specifies procedures for the removal of accused individuals to the US.

It also authorizes pretrial detention and the appointment of counsel for accused individuals. See Army Field Manual 3-100.21,Contractors on the Battlefield and DoD Instruction 5525.11, Criminal Jurisdiction Over Civilians Employed By or Accompanying the Armed Forces Outside the United States, Certain Service Members, and Former Service Members.

I like this. No longer will rapists and other criminals be allowed to hide behind “I’m not in the Military, the Military has no jurisdiction, the worst that will happen to me is I will get fired!” Then I get to page 7. What the hell?? Again, listed as “Additions to Employment Agreement”:

Prostitution –The Company has adopted a “zero tolerance policy” regarding employees who engage in prostitution and other related activities, including, but not limited to, pimping, pandering, or maintaining brothels. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action up to or including removal from the Assignment Location and/or termination of employment in accordance with standard procedures and applicable laws or regulations in the host country.

“The Company has adopted….what?? For USG contractors or their employees to participate in prostitution in ANY manner, in any location even if it is legal in that location is a Trafficking In Persons (TIPS) violation and therefore a violation of the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System (DFARS). These FARS are not recommendations or guidelines. They are Federal Law and compliance is REQUIRED in order to participate as a USG contractor. So every time an employee goes to Thailand and procures a “girlfriend” for a week or two is violating federal law. Technically, I think KBR is required to self report every time someone comes back bragging about their Thailand exploits.

Subpart 22.17 of the FAR and Subpart 222.17 of the DFARS outline the REQUIREMENTS that Contractors MUST adhere to in order to combating Trafficking In Persons.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued a memorandum in September 2004 which stated “trafficking in persons will not be tolerated”. The FAR and DFARS were officially amended in April 2006 to included the Subparts 22.17 and 222.17.

Isn’t KBR a little late to this party? This has been very enforceable all along. They could have fired John Reddy and his minions for participating in his Towne Lodge brothel in Thailand. They still could fire those who participated and are still employed. Will they? Highly unlikely. What about Donald Vannoy and his brothel in Pattaya? KBR doesn’t have to adopt a “zero tolerance policy” to enforce federal law. So why the big public appearance on this. Are they trying to appease DoD investigators?

As always, if you have any information regarding KBR or USG contractor involved in prostitution activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Dubai, Thailand, the Philippines etc please let me know. I am especially interested in any past or present prostitution activities at the DFAC’s at FOB Marez in Mosul.    MsSparky

May 29, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, KBR, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , | 1 Comment

PMC and Sex Crimes

The crime that dare not speak its name…

By David Isenberg at Huff Post

On April 16 the Department of Defense Inspector General released a report that nobody has been talking about. Allow me to be the first. Perhaps we should subtitle it the crime that dare not speak its name, as it deals with a topic that most private military contractors (PMC) generally don’t talk about publicly.

The title of the report is “Efforts to Prevent Sexual Assault/Harassment Involving DOD Contractors During Contingency Operations.” .

My first thought is how is it that some contractors can’t seem to keep it in their pants? This is an issue that seems to keep happening over the years; from the days when DynCorp contractors were involved in a sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia when employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves to the gang-rape of Jamie Leigh Jones a former KBR employee who claimed that seven KBR employees drugged and gang-raped her on July 28, 2005 at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.

For those who like to dismiss such things as isolated occurrences just head on over to the “Rape, Hazing, Discrimination & Harassment” section of Ms, Sparky’s blog and you will be promptly disabused of such a notion.

In fact the situation is serious enough that the sexual assault of employees of U.S. military contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tracked by the Pentagon under a system it is setting up.

Evidently the fact that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) declares that sexual assault committed by the Armed Forces and DOD civilians and contractors accompanying Armed Forces in contingency operations is a criminal offense that is punishable by court-martial is not enough to keep assaults from happening.

The IG report reviewed contracts that support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom for language in clauses that address the prevention of sexual assault or harassment of or by contractor personnel. It also determined whether DOD and/or DOD contractors provided sexual assault/harassment prevention and response training to contractor employees prior to deployment.

What it found was:

That of the 10 DOD contractors reviewed, 8 did not have policies or training requirements for sexual assault prevention and response. This condition occurred because contractual requirements were not established to ensure that contractors were aware of DOD’s definition of sexual assault or that contractors should report sexual assault complaints to Military law enforcement during contingency operations. In addition, sexual assault prevention and response policy was not applied to contractors and contractors were not required to complete such training as part of theater-specific individual requirements training. The Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, and Air Force contracting officers did not provide adequate oversight of contractor deployment training for sexual assault prevention and response. This condition occurred because the Kellogg, Brown, and Root Services, Inc. Continental United States Replacement Center (CRC) and Fluor Corporation CRC operations were inappropriately approved, despite the contractors’ sexual assault awareness and reporting training not meeting the minimum
training requirements. Further, contractor employees were processed through pre-deployment sites without ensuring that sexual assault prevention and response training was completed.

One can’t help wondering what the world is coming to when men have to go through training to understand that no means no.

Indeed, the report found that most contractors had problems even defining sexual assault. The report noted:

We determined that 8 of 10 contractors reviewed did not establish an adequate corporate definition of sexual assault or promote awareness to contractor employees assigned to DOD projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, five contractors misclassified sexual assault, a violent felony, as an act of sexual harassment, a civil offense, which is reported internally within the companies instead of externally to Military law enforcement; one contractor developed a definition that was inconsistent with DOD’s definition and established internal company reporting procedures; and the remaining two contractors did not provide any definition of sexual assault. The remaining 2 of 10 contractors developed a definition of sexual assault that was consistent with DOD’s definition, but only 1 of the 2 contractors established external reporting to Military law enforcement.

Sexual assault is not just a problem for private contractors; it also is a problem for regular military forces. On February 5, 2004, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum, “Department of Defense Care for Victims of Sexual Assaults,” that expressed concern with the increasing numbers of reports alleging sexual assaults involving Service members deployed to Iraq and Kuwait and directed a review of how DOD handled the treatment and care for victims of sexual assault in theater. On February 10, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness [USD(P&R)] directed the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health, Protection, and Readiness to establish and lead a task force to review the reporting of sexual assaults and consider the necessity of training for Service members. In April 2004, the task force issued the “Task Force Report on Care for Victims of Sexual Assault,” which found that DOD did not have a policy or program aimed at preventing sexual assault, particularly in joint combat environments.

The companies that the report looked at were. AECOM; Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC); Fluor Corporation (Fluor); ITT Corporation, Systems Division (ITT); Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc.(ITSI); Kellogg, Brown, and Root Services, Inc. (KBR); L-3 Communications; Parsons Corporation (Parsons); Readiness Management Support, LC (RMS); and Tetra Tech, Inc.

These ten contractors were selected based on the following criteria: U.S.-based companies; contracting actions awarded in FY 2006 and FY 2007; and combined FY 2006 and FY 2007 contracting actions equal to or exceeding $250 million.

As is often the case with PMC issues the government shares the blame for the problem. The report noted:

Although the 10 DOD contractors reviewed have policies and training requirements in place to comply with the intent of Equal Employment Opportunity laws regarding sexual harassment, the contractors did not establish similar policies and training requirements for sexual assault awareness, prevention, and reporting for DOD contractor employees. This occurred because the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics [USD(AT&L)] did not establish requirements in DOD contracts to ensure: • contractors are made aware of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) definition of sexual assault; and
• contractor employees report sexual assault complaints to Military law enforcement during contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness [USD(P&R)]:
• established sexual assault prevention, reporting, and response policies that excluded DOD contractors; and
• did not ensure that combatant commanders established minimum pre-deployment training requirements to include sexual assault prevention and response training for contractors who accompany U.S. Armed Forces in contingency operations.

As a result, contractor employees who were alleged victims or witnesses may not have known how to report sexual assault crimes to the appropriate Military law enforcement officials while in Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) areas of operation. Additionally, DOD contractors, a supporting component of the DOD total force, may have been unaware of the severity of sexual assault as a criminal offense under the UCMJ, thereby increasing the risk of sexual assault occurrences that threaten contractor productivity in support of DOD contingency operations.

In terms of policies the report found:

We determined that KBR and Parsons were the only two contractors that developed company policies for their employees that addressed sexual assault prevention and response, but that the KBR and Parsons policies were limited. The KBR sexual assault policy, issued in October 2007, applied to only KBR employees who supported the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) and excluded KBR employees performing work on other contracts supporting contingency operations; provided a definition of sexual assault that considered any nonconsensual sexual act or contact to be sexual assault; and established reporting procedures for its LOGCAP employees to report sexual assault crimes internally to KBR human resources representatives, employee relations representatives, its ethics hotline, or legal counsel, and did not mention local law enforcement. Parsons’ workplace violence policy prohibited physical assault, which included sexual assault; however, the Parsons’ policy was inadequate because it did not provide the defining elements of sexual assault. Additionally, the Parsons’ policy provided internal company reporting procedures for its employees to contact Parsons supervisors, security, and emergency hotline, and did not mention local law enforcement.

In terms of training the report found:

RMS and Fluor were the only two DOD contractors that developed and implemented sexual assault prevention and response training that classified sexual assault as a crime characterized by nonconsensual and threatening physical contact causing bodily harm, including rape. The RMS training module, implemented in June 2007, was the only sexual assault training that appropriately instructed employees to report sexual assault crimes to law enforcement authorities as well as to internal company management, human resources managers, and the RMS ethics hotline. However, the Fluor sexual assault prevention and response training, implemented in June 2009, inappropriately instructed employees to report sexual assault crimes internally to Fluor supervisors and managers.

The IG report recommends that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics develop contractual requirements to ensure that DOD contractors are aware of the DOD definition of sexual assault and require contractors to report sexual assaults to Military law enforcement.

Of course, there are many private military contractors working for places other than the Defense Department. One can’t fault the IG report for that; it can only address its own department. But one hopes that someone in government will ensure the recommendations apply government wide and not just to Pentagon contractors.

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April 21, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Rape, Sexual Assault | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halliburton drops high court appeal in rape case

HOUSTON — Halliburton Co. and KBR have withdrawn an appeal asking the Supreme Court to block the trial of a former military contractor from Texas who says she was raped by co-workers in Iraq.

Halliburton confirmed today that the appeal was withdrawn, but wouldn’t elaborate.

Jamie Leigh Jones says she was raped while working for KBR in Baghdad in 2005. She later sued KBR and Halliburton, which split in 2007.

Halliburton and KBR had argued that Jones’ case should be settled in arbitration as required by her contract. A lower court ruled it could go to trial, which is set for May 2011.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t name people alleging sexual assault, but Jones’ identity has been broadcast in media reports and on her own Web site.  Original story at  bostonherald.com Also See Ms Sparky

March 22, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Rape, Sexual Assault | , , , , | Leave a comment