Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Kidnapped US aid contractor reportedly held by militants in Pakistan

MinnPost.com  January 26, 2012

A kidnapped American aid contractor is alive and in good health, being held by a Pakistani Al Qaeda affiliate that’s likely to use him as a bargaining chip, according to militants, security officials, and analysts.

Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in August from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, is in the custody of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants in North Waziristan, a ranking Pakistani militant told McClatchy. The militant said he’d seen Mr. Weinstein last month and at that point “his health was fine.”

“He is being provided all available medical treatment, including regular checkups by a doctor and the medicines prescribed for him before he was plucked,” the militant, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said last week in an interview.

Little has been revealed publicly about Weinstein’s status since December, when Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of Al Qaeda, said in a video that the terrorist network was holding him.

Weinstein, who’s from Rockville, Md., spent several years as the Pakistan country manager for J.E. Austin Associates, a contractor for the US Agency for International Development. Reportedly in ill health, he’d packed his bags and was within hours of leaving Pakistan for good on Aug. 13 when militants kidnapped him from his home in the affluent suburb of Model Town.

January 26, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Contractors Missing, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, USAID | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alan Gross not among foreign prisoners freed in Cuba

Cuba frees more than 2, 500 prisoners

Free Speech Radio News   December 28, 2011

More than 2, 500 people have been released from prison in Cuba, after a mass pardoning by the federal government

An upcoming visit by the Pope was among the reasons for the release.

Several foreign prisoners were included in the release, but US contractor Alan Gross was not among them.

Gross is serving a 15 year prison sentence, after being convicted of crimes against the Cuban government earlier this year.

A contractor for USAID, Gross was arrested for bringing communications equipment into the country without a permit and has now been detained in Cuba for more than 2 years.

His imprisonment is at the center of a diplomatic dispute between Washington and Havana.

Human rights organizations have criticized the Cuban government’s prison policies, the regime currently imprisons an estimated 70 to 80 thousand people

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Held, Legal Jurisdictions, State Department, USAID | , , , , | Leave a comment

Include US Civilian Contractors in US Deaths/Injured in Iraq and Afghanistan

The President of the United States: Include U.S Civilian Contractors in Deaths/Injured in Iraq & Afghanistan

Please go here to sign the petition

Why This Is Important

As Americans, we all feel a sense of patriotism when it comes to our great country. The men and women who chose to go to Iraq and Afghanistan in a civilian capacity to serve our country are NOT included in the numbers when they tally the numbers of Deaths and Injured. Why should they be included you may ask? Why should they be excluded I ask.

When a civilian contractor is killed or injured the American people are paying the bill. Survivor benefits, worker’s compensation, funeral expenses, medical expenses etc are all paid for by the American people. While the multi-billion dollar private military companies like (DynCorp, KBR, Xe, etc.) sit back and continue to reap the benefits of the continued international conflicts.

If you know a civilian contractor who is currently employed, has been injured, has been killed please sign our petition. Although many of these men and women who chose to serve our country in the civilian capacity are retired military personnel, they receive no acknowldgement of their sacrafices when they are injured or killed.

Instead our Government wants to hide these brave men and women and not include these losses in the numbers of Americans who have sacrificed

Please sign the petition here

December 15, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractors Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Iraq, KBR, Pentagon, Politics, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Traumatic Brain Injury, USACE, USAID, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Suicide Bomb Targets Foreigners in Afghanistan

Three UN staff killed in Afghan attack

Kabul: Three UN employees were killed on Monday along with three others when a Taliban truck full of explosives was detonated near a compound housing UN offices in Afghanistan’s Kandahar city.

Two Afghan civilians and a policeman were also killed in the early morning attack that also involved gunmen, Xinhua reported.

Three UN staff killed in Afghan attackThe terror attack “resulted in the death of three UNHCR employees at our compound and the wounding of two other staff members”, said a statement issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kabul.Though the statement did not disclose the nationalities of the victims, a police official told Xinhua all three were Afghans.Three UN staff killed in Afghan attack The Kandahar administration said one of the wounded men was a Nepali who was the security guard of the UNHCR office.

 

KGO Newstalk  October 31, 2011

(KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN) – The regional office of IRD, a USAID subcontractor, was targeted Monday morning in what’s being called a major attack; a suicide attacker driving a pickup truck began the attack, severely damaging the building. The explosion was followed by small arms fire.

According to Kandahar governor’s media office, the attackers took position inside a veterinary clinic in the area and continued to fire on security forces.This was described as a major attack because it targeted both the UN and the USAID contractor in Kandahar city.

foreigners were targeted, none were killed. However, this attack does mark the second major attack on foreigners in Afghanistan in three days. According to UN, US and Afghan police officials, the UN building suffered severe damage from the truck bomb, and four civilians and one policeman were killed. Four individuals were injured, including one Nepalese guard at the UNHCR guesthouse.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, NGO's, Private Security Contractor, United Nations, USAID | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-CEO of Defense Department contractor charged with overbilling

Cliffview Pilot  October 20, 2011

BEHIND THE STORY: The former president and CEO of international engineering consulting firm Louis Berger Group surrendered early today to face a six-count grand jury indictment accusing him of over-billing the government millions of dollars in reconstruction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, federal authorities in Newark said.

Derish M. Wolff has a court appearance scheduled this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Newark, they said.

Soon after Wolff — the nephew of company founder Louis Berger — became the firm‘s president in 2002, federal officials awarded a five-year $300 million contract to the Berger group for rebuilding power plants, schools and irrigation systems in Afghanistan.

But the company, among other sleights of hand, shifted overhead costs from private clients to federal and state contracts, hoping they wouldn’t be noticed, federal authorities said.

Two former senior employees with the Morristown-based company pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark last year to their roles in the scheme.

Although he wasn’t identified by name, Wolff is believe to be the mastermind of the plot, which federal authorities said was carried out by the two: Salvatore Pepe, 58, of Tuckahoe, N.Y., LBG’s former Chief Financial Officer, and Precy Pellettieri, 54, of Rahway, the former controller.

Pepe and Pellettieri admitted targeting an overhead rate above 140 – meaning: for every dollar of labor devoted to a USAID contract, LBG would receive an additional $1.40 in overhead expenses and total profits allegedly incurred by LBG

Please read the entire article here

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, State Department, USAID | , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Base Act Class Action

Statement concerning filing of class action for fraud and bad faith against KBR, DynCorp, Blackwater, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting, CNA Insurance, AIG Insurance and others who conspired to deny benefits to severely injured contractors and to harm them further

Scott Bloch  files complaint for $2 billion against major government contractors like

KBR, Blackwater.XE,  DynCorp, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting and the global insurance carriers AIG, CNA, ACE and Zurich, on behalf of thousands of former employees, for unlawful, fraudulent and bad-faith mistreatment of injured employees and their families   

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2011)

Since 2003, top government contractors like Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, CSA/AECOM and ITT have been perpetrating a fraud on their employees and on the American public. 

The silent warriors who work for these companies, many of them decorated former military service members, have been injured, mistreated and abandoned by the contracting companies and their insurance carriers who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums.

“It is a grave injustice,” Bloch said, “to those who rode alongside American soldiers, including Iraqi and Afghani Nationals, to be case aside without the benefits of the law.  We are supposedly trying to bring them the rule of law.  We are supposedly trying to encourage them in democratic institutions. 

We are the ones asking them to believe in justice and individual rights. 

This is a travesty to all Americans and those around the world who look to America for an example of humanitarian aid and proper treatment of workers.”

This is a lawsuit for damages in the amount of $2 billion to remedy the injuries and destruction caused to the lives, finances and mental and physical well being of thousands of American families and others whose loved ones were injured while serving America under contracts with the United States. 

It seeks an additional unspecified amount to punish the companies who made massive profits while causing this harm to people unlawfully and maliciously and working a fraud on the American public who paid them.  
“This abusive and illegal scheme by the defendants has been allowed to go on for too long. 

We are talking about loss of life, suicide, loss of homes, marriages, families split up, “ Bloch said, “and the culprits are the large government contractors who should have treated their employees better, and the mega-insurance companies who were paid a hefty sum to make sure the employees were taken care of with uninterrupted benefits in the event of injuries in these war zones.”
This complaint is filed due to actions and omissions of defendants, in conspiracy with others, and individually, to defeat the right of American citizens and foreign nationals to receive their lawful benefits and compensation under the Defense Base Act (“DBA”),  as it adopts the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”).  
The lawsuit explains that those sued engaged under the RICO statute in an enterprise of fraudulent and or criminal acts to further their scheme to defeat the rights of individuals who have been injured or suffered occupational diseases, and death, while on foreign soil in support of defense activities under the DBA.  

These acts were perpetrated repeatedly through bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, using telephones, faxes, and United States mail .
 “These are heroes, decorated by America’s Armed Services,” said Bloch. 

“Some of the foreign contractors were decorated special forces soldiers from their countries who assisted the United States in combating threats.  The sheer disregard for human dignity and law is reprehensible and deserves punishment. 

These families and many others who have been harmed need treatment, need compensation, need redress of the wrongs that have been perpetrated by these huge companies and insurance carriers for the last 10 years. 

They have earned $100 billion per year on the backs of these people, with the blood of these plaintiffs and those whom they represent.”
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States, South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and other counties.  

Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290
scott@scottblochlaw.com

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Blackwater, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Interpreters, Iraq, KBR, L-3, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Traumatic Brain Injury, USACE, USAID, Veterans, Wackenhut, War Hazards Act, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Iraq and Afghanistan: DOD, State, and USAID Cannot Fully Account for Contracts, Assistance Instruments, and Associated Personnel

GAO-11-886 September 15, 2011

Highlights Page (PDF) Full Report (PDF, 32 pages) Accessible Text

Summary

DOD, State, and USAID have relied extensively on contracts and assistance instruments (grants and cooperative agreements) for a range of services in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the last 3 years, GAO has provided information on the agencies’ contracts, assistance instruments, and associated personnel in the two countries, detailing the agencies’ challenges tracking such information. Amendments from the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 now require the agencies to provide this and other information to Congress through annual joint reports. They also direct GAO to review those reports. In response, GAO reviewed the first joint report and assessed (1) data and data sources used to prepare the report; (2) use of data from the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) for management, oversight, and coordination; and (3) efforts to improve SPOT’s tracking of statutorily required information. GAO compared data in the joint report to agency data GAO previously obtained, reviewed supporting documentation, and interviewed agency officials, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan, on how the data were collected and used.

The Departments of Defense (DOD) and State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) designated SPOT as their system in 2010 for tracking statutorily required information on contracts, assistance instruments, and associated personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Citing limitations with SPOT’s implementation, the agencies generally relied on data sources other than SPOT to prepare their 2011 joint report. Only State used SPOT but just for its contractor personnel numbers. However, GAO found that regardless of the data source used, the agencies’ data had significant limitations, many of which were not fully disclosed. For example, while the agencies collectively reported $22.7 billion in fiscal year 2010 obligations, we found that they underreported the value of Iraq and Afghanistan contracts and assistance instruments by at least $4 billion, the majority of which was for DOD contracts. In addition, data presented in the joint report on personnel, including those performing security functions, are of limited reliability because of significant over- and undercounting. For example, DOD did not disclose that its contractor personnel numbers for Afghanistan were overreported for most of the reporting period because of double counting. Additionally, despite the reporting requirement, State did not provide information on its assistance instruments or the number of personnel working under them. As a result of such limitations, data presented in the joint report should not be used to draw conclusions or identify trends over time. DOD, State, and USAID have used SPOT to a limited extent, primarily to manage and oversee individual contracts and personnel. Agency officials cited instances of using SPOT to help identify contractors that should be billed for the use of government services, including medical treatment and dining facilities. State and DOD officials also identified instances of using SPOT to help inform operational planning, such as preparing for the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq. Officials from the three agencies indicated that shortcomings in data and reporting capabilities have limited their use of SPOT and, in some cases, led them to rely on other data systems to help manage and oversee contracts and assistance instruments. Further, the agencies cannot readily access each other’s data in SPOT, which limits interagency coordination opportunities. Recent efforts have been made to improve SPOT’s tracking of contractor and assistance personnel. SPOT now allows users to enter aggregate, rather than individual personal information into SPOT, which may overcome resistance to using the system based on security concerns. In addition, DOD and State report increased efforts to validate personnel data in SPOT. However, practical and technical challenges continue to affect SPOT’s ability to track other statutorily required data. For example, SPOT cannot be used to reliably distinguish personnel performing security functions from other contractors. Also, while SPOT has the capability to record when personnel have been killed or wounded, such information has not been regularly updated. The agencies have identified the need for further modifications and new guidance to address some but not all of these limitations. It is unclear when SPOT will serve as a reliable source of data to meet statutory requirements and be used by the agencies for management, oversight, and coordination. As a result, the agencies still do not have reliable sources and methods to report on contracts, assistance instruments, and associated personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, GAO recommended that DOD, State, and USAID develop a plan for addressing SPOT’s limitations. The agencies disagreed, citing ongoing coordination as sufficient. GAO continues to believe such a plan is needed and is not making new recommendations.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, State Department, USAID, Wartime Contracting | , , , , | Leave a comment

American kidnapped in Pakistan / Gunmen kidnap American in Pakistan

The abducted man, Warren Weinstein, heads the Pakistan office for consulting
firm J.E. Austin Associates, Inc

Agence France-Presse   August 13, 2011

LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug 13, 2011 (AFP) – An American aid expert was kidnapped at gunpoint from his house in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Saturday after gunmen stormed through the back door and overpowered his guards, police said.

The U.S. embassy said the man had been identified as Warren Weinstein and that he works for a private company.

He was snatched at dawn in the upmarket neighbourhood of Model Town, just two days before he was due to return to the United States after more than four years in the deeply conservative nuclear-armed Muslim country of 167 million.

Police described how eight kidnappers forced their way into the house as Weistein’s guards ate a traditional pre-dawn meal at 3:30 am (2230 GMT Friday) before beginning the daily Ramadan fast of observant Muslims.

“Somebody knocked on the main door. According to one of the guards when he opened the door, he saw three men standing there. They offered meals to the guard, who politely refused,” police official Tajamul Hussain told AFP.

“Five more men climbed into the house using the back door, overpowered the guards and tied their hands behind their back.

“They asked Weinstein’s driver to knock on his bedroom door. When the U.S. citizen opened the door, they snatched him,” Hussain said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.

U.S. embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez confirmed the seizure and told AFP: “We are working with Pakistani authorities on this issue

UPI   August 13, 2011

LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug. 13 (UPI) — A U.S. businessman was kidnapped Saturday from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, by a group of armed men, police said.

Police told The Nation newspaper “some two dozen” armed men converged on the guarded home of 65-year-old Jason Warner and abducted him around 3:30 a.m.

Several security guards were injured at Warner’s compound during the attack, the newspaper said.

The BBC said Warner works as a contractor associated with the U.S. government in foreign aid.

Warner has lived in Pakistan for seven years and maintains a principal residence in Islamabad, but also had a home south in Lahore, The Nation said.

There was no immediate report of demands for ransom

Please read more here

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Pakistan, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Linda Norgrove’s life savings of £91k to help Afghanistan

A charity foundation set up in the aid worker’s name will aid woman and children in the war-torn country.

STV  August 5, 2011

The life savings of Linda Norgrove, who was killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan, have been ploughed in to projects set up to help women and children in the war-torn country where she died.

The “frugal” aid worker left more than £91,000 in her will, it has emerged. That money has now been ploughed into the Linda Norgrove Foundation, a charity set up in her name.

Her father John said Linda was the only student he ever knew who left university with any savings. He said he believed Linda had been setting money aside for a pension or a home.

The 36-year-old was kidnapped by Taliban fighters in September 2010. She was killed a week later during an attempt by American special forces to rescue her. Numerous projects to help people in Afghanistan have been launched since her tragic death

Please read more here

August 5, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractors Kidnapped, USAID | , , , | Leave a comment

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on

U.S. agencies have “limited visibility over U.S. cash that enters the Afghan economy — leaving it vulnerable to fraud and diversion to the insurgency,” SIGAR said in a statement.

by Jason Ukman at The Washington Post  July 20, 2011

Kabul’s international airport has long been seen as a virtual black hole for foreign currency, the perfect venue through which travelers can smuggle out hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid that was intended for development projects.

More than a year after The Washington Post first disclosed American concerns about the airport, a report released Wednesday by the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction concludes that attempts to choke off the exodus of cash have been plagued by a hard-to-fathom set of obstacles.

The installation of currency-counting machines to better trace illicit funds at the airport — one of the centerpieces of a plan by the Department of Homeland Security — was delayed by seven months because U.S. and Afghan officials could not agree on where to put them.

Once the machines were installed, in April, Afghan customs officials began using them to count the cash but not to record serial numbers or to report financial data, necessary steps to determine whether the money being carried out of the country had been siphoned from aid flowing in.

It took eight months for U.S. and Afghan officials to agree on where to place signs at the airport informing passengers of the requirement to declare cash totalling more than $22,000. Americans officials were unable to get approval to place the signs at the entrance to the airport, so they are now located beyond the point where passengers pass through customs.

“As a result,” the report noted, “passengers are not informed of the requirement to declare the currency until it is too late.”

Meantime, VIPs are still allowed to leave the airport without having their cash scanned through the currency counters — one of the main points of concern for U.S. officials, who believe some businessmen are carrying bagfuls of illicit cash to the Persian Gulf and elsewhere

Please read the entire post at Checkpoint Washington

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, State Department, USAID | , , , | Leave a comment

SIGAR Audit -11-13 July 20, 2011

SIGAR Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Limited Interagency Coordination and Insufficient Controls over U.S. Funds in Afghanistan Hamper U.S. Efforts to Develop the Afghan Financial Sector and Safeguard US Cash

SIGAR Audit -11-13

What SIGAR Reviewed
Since 2002, Congress has appropriated more than $70 billion to implement security and development assistance
projects in Afghanistan, with some of those funds converted into cash and flowing through the Afghan economy.  The
United States is implementing programs to increase the capacity of Afghanistan’s central bank (Da Afghanistan Bank, or
DAB) to regulate the nation’s 17 commercial banks and to strengthen U.S. and Afghan law enforcement agencies’
oversight over the flow of funds through the Afghan economy.  This report (1) evaluates U.S. efforts to improve the
capacity of the Afghan government to regulate the financial sector (which includes commercial banks and informal
financial organizations, or hawalas) and (2) assesses the controls that U.S. agencies use to track U.S. funds as they flow
through the Afghan economy.  To accomplish these objectives, we reviewed Afghan laws and U.S. policies, plans, and
progress reports relevant to U.S. financial sector development initiatives. We met with officials from the Departments
of State, Homeland Security (DHS), Treasury, Defense (DOD), and the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID).   We conducted our work in Washington, D.C., and Kabul, Afghanistan, from October 2010 to July 2011 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Please read the entire original report here

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Private Military Contractors, SIGAR, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The number of contractors barred by USAID has more than doubled this year

The Washington Post with Bloomberg  July 3, 2011

The U.S. Agency for International Development, as it cracks down on vendor impropriety, has more than doubled the number of companies and nonprofit groups it has suspended or debarred from receiving new contracts.

The development agency has halted new contracting and grants with 39 entities this year, more than twice the 18 suspended or debarred last year, records show.

USAID on Dec. 8 suspended its 10th-largest partner, the Washington-based nonprofit Academy for Educational Development (AED). The organization held about $640 million in USAID contracts and grants when it was restricted from receiving new government awards.

“We will hold all of our implementing partners to strict account, regardless of their size,” USAID administrator Rajiv Shah said of the suspension in a speech at the Center for Global Development in Washington this year. “ ‘Too big to fail’ simply does not exist in development,’’ he said.

Please read the entire article at The Washington Post

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, State Department, USAID | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Struggling for Power in Afghanistan

by Glen Zorpette at The New York Times Opinion

THE Western campaign for hearts and minds in Afghanistan is based heavily on providing roads, dams, buildings and, especially, electricity. The United States Agency for International Development, or U.S.A.I.D., expects to spend $2.1 billion this year in Afghanistan. It has been working there for half a century, since the Soviets and Americans were competing to be the country’s development partners.

So you’d think that a new five-year, $1.2 billion program that U.S.A.I.D. has proposed to create a modern electrical grid there would be a model. You’d be quite wrong.

When it comes to electricity, the agency has a dismal record, one that needs to be reviewed now, before the grid plan moves ahead. Afghanistan is in the bottom 10 percent of the world in electricity consumption per capita; if recent patterns hold, it will stay there as U.S.A.I.D. and the State Department try to appease the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, and also give American officials a veneer of victory over Afghanistan’s problems as American troops start to withdraw. President Obama’s desire to speed the withdrawal makes the issue more urgent.

Please read more at the New York Times

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, USAID | , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon Contractor Employee Investigated for Human Trafficking, Fired… But No Prosecutions or Contract Terminations

By NICK SCHWELLENBACH at POGO

Yesterday, the State Department released its latest annual report on combating human trafficking. The report said that although one Department of Defense contractor employee was investigated and dismissed in the last year, there have been no prosecutions and no contract terminations:

Allegations against federal contractors engaged in commercial sex and labor exploitation continued to surface in the media. During the reporting period, allegations were investigated and one employee was dismissed by a DoD contractor. The Inspectors General at the Departments of State and Defense and USAID continued their audits of federal contracts to monitor vulnerability to human trafficking and issued public reports of their findings and reparations. USAID also created an entity dedicated to proactively tracking contractor compliance with the authority to suspend contracts and debar contracting firms, a positive step toward increasing enforcement in this area. No prosecutions occurred and no contracts were terminated.

Earlier this month, POGO published an investigation into a case of alleged labor trafficking by a DoD subcontractor in Iraq. In that instance, there were no prosecutions or contract terminations. Last year, I and Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig wrote that there have been zero prosecutions or contract terminations ever since a tough-sounding “zero tolerance” policy that emphasized prosecutions went into place nearly a decade ago. Experts inside and outside the government told us there is little appetite and investigative resources to go after these crimes. “Zero prosecutions,” we quoted attorney Martina Vandenberg, a former Human Rights Watch investigator, “suggests zero effort to enforce the law.”

Nick Schwellenbach is POGO’s Director of Investigations.  Please see the original here

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sallyport Awarded Four-Year Contract To Support USAID Tarabot Project

Sallyport has received a four-year subcontract on the recently awarded USAID Tarabot project. Beginning June 16, 2011, the program will assist with training the Iraqi Civil Service and improving the capabilities of the Iraqi government. Under this project, Sallyport will provide Turn-Key support solutions to Management Systems International, which is serving as the Prime Contractor.

Read the entire press release here

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Contracts Awarded, Iraq, USAID | , , , , | Leave a comment