Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

New torture flights between Lithuania and secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan & Morocco revealed as European Parliament debates rendition report

Reprieve  September 10, 2011

Lawyers for “high value detainee” Abu Zubaydah – who was waterboarded 83 times by the CIA – have today filed a new submission concerning his transfer to and from a prison site in Lithuania. The filing, by London-based organization Interights, comes as Reprieve releases new information showing how renditions contractor Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) arranged covert flights connecting Lithuania to other countries in the CIA’s secret prison network, including Morocco and Afghanistan. The revelation comes ahead of a debate in the European Parliament, led by rapporteur Hélène Flautre, on a new report on the kidnapping – or ‘rendition’ – and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA.

The US intelligence agency ran a so-called ‘black site’ outside Vilnius between 2004 and 2007, where detainees were held without charge. In their new report, the European Parliament’s Justice Committee concluded that “the layout of the buildings and installations inside appear compatible with the detention of prisoners” and that “many questions related to CIA operations in Lithuania remain open” despite a judicial investigation which closed in January 2011.

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September 10, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improper time-and-materials contracts prove costly

by Robert Brodsky at GovExec

Army contracting officials improperly awarded time-and-materials contracts and task orders to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, potentially costing taxpayers nearly $3.7 million, according to the Defense Department inspector general.

The report, released on Aug. 27, found that contracting and program officials regularly ignored federal and defense acquisition regulations mandating competition and adequate justification when using time-and-materials contracts.

“As a result, the Army did not have the opportunity to obtain cost savings through competition and may have incurred additional costs by not negotiating reasonable prices and by unnecessarily using the riskiest contract type,” the audit said.

Time-and-materials awards have fallen out of favor because the contractor’s profit is built into the labor rates, reducing the company’s incentive to control costs and work efficiently. The Obama administration has directed agencies to cut their use of time-and-materials contracts, and the Defense Department has indicated it will phase out this type of contract altogether.

The IG reviewed seven contracts and 11 task orders with a total value of $605 million. Investigators reported that Army acquisition officials failed to open three of the contracts and seven task orders to competition.

In September 2006, for example, the Army Contracting Agency at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico awarded a $9.9 million sole-source task order to Computer Sciences Corp. for “operation, training and maintenance of foreign aviation systems at Kabul Afghanistan International Airport.” The Army had noted CSC was the only firm capable of performing the work due to its specialized nature, but officials offered no evidence to back up their claim, auditors said.

“The justification also included an unexplained assertion that it would take 24 months and cost $25 million for another contractor to acquire the skills needed to gain proficiency for this effort,” the report said. “This assertion was shown to be false a year later, when CSC was forced to compete for the follow-on contract and lost to Northrop Grumman.”

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September 1, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, Pentagon | , , , , , | Leave a comment