Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Afghan National Police Contract Requirements Were Not Clearly Defined but Contract Administration Improved

DODIG-2012-094    May 30, 2012

MEMORANDUM FOR DEPUTY COMMANDING GENERAL FOR SUPPORT,
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION TRAINING
MISSION-AGHANISTAN/COMBINED SECURITY
TRANSITION COMMAND-AFGHAN 1STAN
AUDITOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
COMMANDER, DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT
AGENCY, AFGHANISTAN

SUBJECT: Afghan National Police Contract Requirements Were Not Clearly Defined but
Contract Administration Improved (Report No.  DODIG-2012-094)

We are providing this repoli for your information and use,   This is one in a series of reports on
the DoD Afghan National Police contract.     We considered management comments on a draft of
this report when preparing the final report. The management comments conformed to the
requirements of DoD Directive 7650.3; therefore, additional comments are not required

Please read the report here

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June 1, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, NATO, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Contractors Face Withheld Payments Over Systems Flaws

Tony Capaccio Bloomberg August 29, 2011

The Pentagon is imposing a new contract provision which calls for withholding as much as 10 percent of payments to defense companies when it finds“significant” shortcomings in any of six business systems used to track performance and cost of weapons programs or services.

The Defense Contract Management Agency in October decertified the Earned Value system used by Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas aircraft unit to track costs and schedules, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. Photo: Lockheed Martin

The measure is intended to protect taxpayers from overbilling. It focuses on the systems that companies such asLockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the No. 1 defense contractor, use to estimate costs for bids, purchase goods from subcontractors or manage government property and materials.

A rule, which took effect Aug. 16, requires that all new contracts include language that spells out the potential for withholding payments due to deficiencies, such as those involving the standard “Earned Value Management” system used to determine whether companies are meeting cost and schedule goals

As initially drafted, the Pentagon would have been empowered to withhold as much as 20 percent of billings. After industry complaints, that was cut to a 10 percent maximum in the fiscal 2011 defense policy bill.

The rule resulted from an August 2009 hearing of the congressionally mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting at which major business-system deficiencies were described within companies working in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“These changes are long overdue and reflect potential risk associated with longstanding and continuing contractor business system deficiencies,” said commission Co-Chairman Michael Thibault in an e-mail

Please read the entire story here

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trust But, Incompetently, Verify

By David Isenberg at Huffington Post  July 28, 2011

In August 2009, the Pentagon awarded five Theater-wide Internal Security Services (TWISS) contracts for site security in Iraq. These contracts, awarded to EOD Technology, Inc.; Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC; Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group; Triple Canopy, Inc.; and Protection Strategies Inc., have a combined value of $485 million.

U.S base commanders nominate contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), who are responsible for verifying the U.S. government receives what it pays for. The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) appoints and trains CORs and manages their activities. DCMA uses Quality Assurance Representatives (QARs) to monitor the CORs’ and contractors’ performance.

Yet although COR duties are critical to the U.S. government’s oversight of the TWISS contracts, almost 40% of the CORs it surveyed said the training they received did not prepare them for their duties and 25% said they lack sufficient time to conduct effective oversight, according to an audit report “Control Weaknesses Remain in Oversight of Theater-wide Internal Security Services Contracts,”
released today by the Office of the Special Inspector General For Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).

Why is this important?  Please read the entire story at HuffPost

July 29, 2011 Posted by | Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor, SIGIR | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Troops or Private Contractors: Who Does Better in Supplying Our Troops During War?

Charles M. Smith for Truthout Wednesday February 23, 2011

In testimony before the House on March 11, 2010, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Ashton B. Carter, stated, “All studies show that that [organic support, i.e. using troops] is more expensive than contractors and a distraction from military functions for military people.”(1)

While this is sometimes an accurate statement, the Army should not just automatically choose contractor support over organic support without serious and honest additional analysis. With the continuing experience of extensive LOGCAP logistics support for Afghan and Iraq wars, the Army has the opportunity to re-evaluate decisions to use contractors for combat service support. The main support contractor for most of the time of these current wars, KBR, has had many failed reviews and received much criticism by DoD investigators and Congress. With the price tag of KBR’s LOGCAP contracts hitting above $40 billion, there are many lessons to be learned from their cost and performance failures. Such a review can evaluate the additional risks posed by contractors on the battlefield, along with any cost savings.

Cost Comparison

The major cost comparison study of troop versus KBR LOGCAP support was performed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2005. This study was performed during the first two years of combat in Iraq and had significant data. The CBO compared Task Order 59 on the LOGCAP III contract, which provided support to Joint Task Force Seven (CJTF-7), the initial designation of troop units in Iraq. Task Order 59 accounted for over 50 percent of LOGCAP costs during the two years it was in effect.

The CBO estimated the number of Army units necessary to carry out the full range of tasks which Task Order 59 provided for JTF-7. They determined that “177 units of 38 distinct types, populated by 12,067 soldiers” would be required. They took into account units already in the military force structure, but unavailable because they are assigned to other missions, such as Korea. For their model, CBO assumed a 20-year period with two contingency operations and two periods of peacetime, in which units were trained and reconstituted. They calculated the cost per soldier, with the average length of service and the accumulation of veterans and retirement benefits. Unlike previous studies, the CBO factored in the different costs of reserve and regular Army units.

Based on these calculations, the cost of troop support would be $78.4 billion for the 20-year period. LOGCAP support is calculated to cost $41.4 billion for this period. Based upon the CBO calculations, the cost difference over a 20-year period would be $37 billion dollars, in 2005 dollars. The study found that organic support costs approximately 90 percent more than using contractors.

The CBO study examined a variety of operational scenarios, differing lengths for missions and peacetime, and found that the cost differential was not sensitive to these variations. The study is, however, extremely sensitive to a major assumption of the analysis, the Army’s rotation schedule. The Army policy is for a three-year rotational schedule. One year is spent performing a mission, followed by a year of reconstitution and a year of training for the next mission. Given this schedule, each unit created to replace the LOGCAP contract must have two other similar units to complete the rotation cycle. If the Army could live with a two-year rotational schedule for support units, the cost differential between organic support and LOGCAP would be significantly reduced especially since, in reality, the Army has not strictly kept to a three-year schedule and many of our troops are on their fifth or sixth deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Please read the entire article/report here

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, LOGCAP, Pentagon, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , | Leave a comment

End of Iraq: What Happens to Our Stuff?

Jim Garrettson at Executive Biz

As the post-Iraq drawdown gets underway, 3.4 million pieces of military hardware will need to leave the country.  Many have already been repaired and shipped to new theaters of operation,  and thousands more are waiting for repairs at support bases around the Middle East.  However, despite the fact that overseas support contractors were exempt from Secretary Gates’ push to eliminate 33,000 contractor positions from DoD’s payroll, some major changes are coming to logistics support contracting.

First and foremost: oversight.  DCMA is hiring contracting oversight officers to address problems identified during the Iraq conflict, including a lack of oversight for contractors.  The most obvious change that will be apparent is the increase in DCMA pesonnel, with plans to hire thousands of new professionals.

Also, expect training for DoD personnel interacting with contractors (including unit commanders) to become standardized, as DoD has recognized the need to train all personnel, not just oversight personnel, to work with contractors.  Commanders who don’t understand the intricacies of the command and control relationship between soldiers and civilian support personnel could direct contractors to perform work outside the scope of the original contract, risking extra fees and even violations of competition requirements.

Finally, expect DoD to more clearly identify contractor requirements.  One of the lessons learned from Iraq is that failing to identify precisely what support the Pentagon needs early on in a conflict can lead to cost overruns later.  Expect future logistical support contracts to be very specific about what work will need to be performed, and expect fewer surprises in future support contracts.

Overall, the changes mean more DCMA personnel being hired as well as standardized training for them. Unit commanders in particular can benefit from this harmonization. Fewer surprises in contractor requirements also means fewer surprises in costs – a move which could very well save government clients money. This change in logistics, smoothing and standardizing the interaction between government agencies and the contractors they employ, could very well be a win-win situation.  Please see the original article here

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, Pentagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

DoD: Civilian contractors in Kuwait didn’t have proper clearances

Washington (CNN) A new Defense Department report says many civilian contractors working in Kuwait didn’t have proper clearances and could have jeopardized the safety of U.S. military personnel and undermined national security.

The Defense Department Inspector General said dozens of contractors worked in sensitive positions without security clearances or the official passes they needed. And some of those people, according to the report, were allowed to remain on the job even after inspectors uncovered the security problems.

The report says a company called Combat Support Associates (CSA) was awarded the contract in 1999 for what was called Combat Support Services Contract-Kuwait (CSSC-K). The contract was extended and is due to expire at the end of September after costing the government more than $3.3 billion dollars.

“CSSC-K contractor employees occupied sensitive positions such as force protection officers, system administrators, and supply inspectors in Kuwait without obtaining security clearances,” the report says.

The the department’s inspector general says the company’s security office failed to track 21 of 379 employees who were in sensitive positions, such as ammunition supply, and that 11 employees did not have a valid security clearance. In addition there was no information whether some of the employees had a U.S. passport, although U.S. citizenship was required by the contract

“Additionally, CSA officials allowed 20 employees to remain in sensitive positions without the required security clearance after its internal quality assurance office and DCMA ( the Defense Contract Management Agency, overseeing the contract) officials informed CSA officials that they were in violation of the contract,” the report says. “If DCMA and contractor officials do not ensure that all employees have the required security clearances and maintain proper security information, they jeopardize the military mission and threaten the safety and security of the military, civilian, and contractor personnel in Kuwait.” Read the entire story here

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight | , , , , , | Leave a comment

DynCorp declares ‘Earth Day’ at Camp Leatherneck (updated with pics)

May 27, 2010 — Ms Sparky

DynCorp seems to be making a proactive effort to support Earth Day by holding a “keep your burn pit clean day” at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan.  Oh wait it isn’t Earth Day, it’s “unauthorized” work day.   From what I can ascertain, one of Dyncorp’s “best and brightest” is running a-muck. Apparently a site manager (former KBR) took a bunch of Dyncorp employees (the word on the street is up to 50) on a little “honey do” project for the Military. “Honey do” aka “drug deal” aka “no paperwork”….in other words unauthorized work. One might say he was just helping out the client (military), just doing the client a favor. On the other hand it’s total fraud to do unauthorized work. I’d like to see what they put on those time sheets. It appears to be the same old thing. “Catch me committing fraud if you can.” (yawn-oh so boring) The DoD doesn’t seem to care to much about this so why should we. It’s just our damn tax dollars at work.

The thing that really disturbs me is the actually “honey do” project itself. Clean up the Camp Leatherneck burn pit. According the media the burn pits have burned everything from body parts, vehicles, unexploded ordinance, chemicals, metals you name it. This sounds more like a major Hazardous Material and Environmental clean-up and not a “Honey do” project. It sounds to me like a project that would require planning, equipment, material and support, Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Activity Safety Analysis (AHA), protective clothing, gloves, and respirators.

Did any of these safety precautions take place? Apparently not. This site manager just marched them on out there to work. It totally pissed me off that even with all the media coverage about the health concerns and dangers of the burn pits, this idiot totally disregarded the health and safety of their employees in order to score points with the Military.

Now Dyncorp is in a quandary. There is no doubt this particular manager would fire anyone who did the same thing. Is Dyncorp going to fire him for cause for violating just about every damn rule and regulation there is.

Not to mention he screwed Dyncorp out of extra authorized work. Money money money, it’s all about the money!

If Dyncorp is wondering why things are so screwed up in Afghanistan. Just take a good look at this incident, which I’m sure is not an isolated one, and then head on up the management chain.

I hope the DCAA, DCMA, CWC and others are reading this.

Go here to view Photos of Dyncorp Workers with no Safety Gear

Gotta love that “Exclusive Remedy”

May 29, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, DynCorp, Safety and Security Issues, Toxic | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Defense Contract Management Agency Acquisition Workforce for Southwest Asia

DCMA and Contractor Oversight

By David Isenberg at Huff Post

Let us start out by acknowledging that most federal government auditors and contracting officers charged with doing oversight on private contractors have a difficult job. As has been documented for years they are overburdened and until recently, under resourced. I am sure most of them try to do an enormously difficult job as professionally and competently as they can.

That said, they can only be as good as the agency they work for. When we think of private contractors working for the U.S. military that means places like the Defense Contract Auditing Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) . DCMA is the DOD Component that works directly with Defense suppliers to help ensure that DOD, Federal, and allied Government supplies and services are delivered on time, at projected cost, and meet all performance requirements.

With regard to the latter let’s look at a recent report by the Department of Defense Inspector General. Titled “Defense Contract Management Agency Acquisition Workforce for Southwest Asia” its objective was to determine DCMA requirements to support Southwest Asia (SWA) contracting operations and the number of available DCMA civilian, military, foreign national, and support contractors supporting the operations. Specifically, it determined whether DCMA identified its requirements to support SWA contracting operations. It also evaluated whether a sample of the DCMA acquisition workforce for SWA was adequately trained and certified.

Southwest Asia means Afghanistan so one can see this is not a just a subject of academic concern.

Unfortunately for U.S. troops there the report makes DCMA look a bit like the Keystone Cops. The report found that as of December 31, 2008, DCMA provided contract oversight and contract administration for contract actions valued at $1.3 trillion.

But DCMA could not determine its resource requirements for contractor oversight and
contract administration in SWA because:

DCMA is reactive rather than proactive in assuming its role to provide contractor oversight and contract administration.
DCMA did not define its acquisition workforce requirements to support contracting operations in SWA,

AT&L [Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics] does not require Defense agencies to document acquisition workforce requirements, and

DCMA must be delegated contractor oversight and contract administration responsibility for work in SWA.

On the not so outlandish assumption that one can’t do good oversight if you don’t have good auditors the report dismayingly reports that:

DCMA Southwest Asia personnel did not have the proper training and certification for contingency contracting positions in SWA. Specifically, of the 221 DCMA personnel training records reviewed from a universe of 1,170 from FY 2004 through FY 2009: 103 DCMA personnel were not fully qualified for the position occupied, and

57 quality assurance representatives did not have or could not produce proof of Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification.

In addition, of the 75 position descriptions DCMA provided, 30 position descriptions were either incorrect or did not have a requirement for certification.

Although the Pentagon has said numerous times in the past several years that it is increasing the size of its acquisition workforce the IG report noted that

DCMA reported that its civilian staffing decreased from 19,403 full-time equivalents as of October 1, 1992, to 9,423 as of December 31, 2008 (a 51 percent decrease). DCMA military staffing decreased from 570 on January 1, 2003, to 542 as of December 31, 2008. From October 1, 1999 through December 31, 2008, the number of DCMA-administered contracts increased from 309,000 to 321,000, while the obligated value of those contracts increased from $866 billion to $1.3 trillion (50 percent increase). Conversely, during the same period the number of contractors administered by DCMA decreased from 18,600 to 18,500.

With those numbers it is small wonders problems keep cropping up.

Considering what I wrote in my last post , regarding contractors overseeing contractors, it is worth noting that the report says “DCMA does not (nor is required to) report the number of contractor and foreign national personnel in the acquisition workforce. However, the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract requires contractor personnel to perform contract administration functions. As a result, an unknown number of contractor and foreign national personnel may be supplementing the contract administration workforce.”

For those who wonder why that is a problem, consider this excerpt from the IG report::

The Army awarded the LOGCAP III contract to Kellogg, Brown, and Root in 2001 and delegated the responsibility of managing the LOGCAP III contract to DCMA in August 2006. Although DCMA was delegated contract administration authority for the LOGCAP III contract, DCMA relied on the prime contractor to perform quality assurance, inspections, and repair in those facilities. DOD Inspector General (IG) Report No. IE-2009-006, “Review of Electrocution Deaths in Iraq: Part I – Electrocution of Staff Sergeant Ryan D. Maseth, U.S. Army,” July 24, 2009, found that the prime contractor did not advise DCMA of electrical deficiencies in facilities that soldiers and contractors occupied. As a result, one service member died in those facilities due to faulty electrical wiring and improperly grounded electrical equipment. The report stated that the Government in good faith relied upon the contractor to provide qualified people to do the work as part of the “workmanlike” standard and quality provisions provided for under the terms of the contract. In addition, the report stated that LOGCAP III Support Unit contracting officer acceptance of prime contractor assumptions during contract negotiations resulted in a false perception that buildings and peripheral equipment were in acceptable condition during the transfer of Radwaniyah Palace Complex facility operations and maintenance to LOGCAP III.

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

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment