Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

The Department of Labor and Supreme Group, A Cover Up?

In the second quarter of 2010 The Department of Labor reports that the Supreme Group had 192 employee death claims filed

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbaallemployer6-30-10.htm

The Supreme Group shows no prior death claims filed dating back to September of 2001.

While no single insurer shows death claims filed amounting to this number for this time period

CNA shows 46 death claims filed

Zurich shows 105 death claims filed

And the DoL lists 103 death claims to an uninsured employer (there were previously none listed)

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbaallcarrier6-30-10.htm

See Also Failure to Secure DBA Coverage, Failure to Report Claims

.

We filed FOIA’s on February 22, 2012 and again on March 8, 2012

Which included the following:

    1.    Any and all complaints, statements, or reports to U.S. Dept. of Labor (DoL) concerning the activities of Supreme Group, Supreme Food Service, and their subcontractors

    2.    Any and all letters, reports, e mail, memoranda or other record showing communications with people regarding the activities of and/or the filing of DBA claims by Supreme Group, Supreme Food Service, and their subcontractors

             3.        Any and all report(s) of investigation or other memoranda or record concerning results of investigation conducted by DoL or any person working for DoL concerning the activities of  and/or the filing of DBA claims by Supreme Group, Supreme Food Services, and their subcontractors

.

We understand that when filing FOIA requests they must be worded properly

But are we to believe that there were 192 Death Claims filed in one quarter by one company and that during this same quarter over 100 Death Claims were filed to an uninsured employer,

AND NO ONE HAD ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT AT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR?

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, War Hazards Act, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

At Least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths in Second Quarter of 2012

WE ARE THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE WARS

According to the Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Claim Summary Reports there were at least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in the second quarter of 2012.

Keep in mind that these numbers are not an accurate accounting of Contractor Casualties as many injuries and deaths are not reported as Defense Base Act Claims. Also, many of these injuries will become deaths due to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies denial of medical benefits.

Many foreign national and local national contractors and their families are never told that they are covered under the Defense Base Act and so not included in the count.

6 Contractor Deaths this quarter were in Iraq

42 Contractor Deaths  were in Afghanistan

1 Contractor Death  are Nation Pending

1 Contractor Death  in the United States

1 Contractor Death in the  United Arab Emirates

2 Contractor Deaths in Qatar

1 Contractor Death in Columbia

1 Contractor Death in Pakistan

1 Contractor Death in Liberia

1 Contractor Death in Mozambique

1 Contractor Death in Tajikistan

At least 2, 685  Defense Base Act Claims were filed during this quarter

At least 59 were death claims

At least 1074 were for injuries requiring longer than 4 days off work

At least  92 were for injuries requiring less than 4 days off work

At least 1460were for injuries requiring no time off of work

A total of 87, 505  Defense Base Act Claims have been filed since September 1, 2001

Contact dbacasualty@yahoo.com for questions regarding these numbers

July 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Iraq, Kuwait, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Base Act Coverage for US Government Contractors Working in Japan

OWCP News Release March 24, 2011

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, various agencies of the United States may utilize the services of private contractors to provide humanitarian and other assistance as part of the global relief effort there. Workers for such private contractors are covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA) (except for certain specified instances where the Department of Labor has granted a waiver). Agency contracting personnel and private contractors should ensure that the proper DBA insurance is in place before workers are deployed overseas.

DoD and DoS contracts have been granted a waiver for non US employees.

Please keep in mind that while you must purchase this insurance it cannot be depended on to provide the stated benefits.  The Department of Labor administrates the program but has no authority over the insurance companies.  Employees may go for many years or forever without medical care and compensation.

As this insurance is normally cost reimbursable to the contract, not an expense to the contract company,  we highly recommend no one go on one of these contracts without supplemental insurance being provided. 

See our Defense Base Act Compensation Blog to read about the battle injured contractors and widows must fight for the most basic benefits as stated in the Act.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Japan, State Department | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contractor Casualties on the Rise According to the DOL’s latest DBA figures

Update:  A large number of Defense Base Act Death and Injury Claims were filed this year by one company though the casualties occurred prior to this year.  We’ll let you know who did this and what, if any, the consequences are.

One Hundred Forty Civilian Contractors Dead in the last quarter of 2010

Defense Base Act Case Summary Reports

These figures only include casualties that DBA claims were filed on

Civilian Contractors killed since Sept 2001        2,540

Civilian Contractors injured                                      66,470

Unknown (?) Category                                                         1,123

Contractor Deaths for 2009                       336

Contractor Deaths for 2010                         513

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Government Contractor, Iraq | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

At the Department of Labor, Solis has Gone Wild

Solis Hill Staffers Strike It Rich At DOL

Research from Americans for Limited Government has uncovered that Capitol Hill staffers that transitioned to the Department of Labor with Hilda Solis have struck it rich.

Salary bumps for the individuals that moved from the Hill to Labor increased anywhere from 15% to 96%! In the middle of a recession, has your salary increased that much?

We know she does not give a damn about Contractor Casualties, but had no idea she was this obscene.

Check out this data provided by DOL via an ALG FOIA request

See chart here

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan becomes more dangerous for contractors

By Matt Kelley  USA Today

WASHINGTON — U.S. government contractor deaths in Afghanistan more than doubled last year as violence and American troop levels increased, federal government records show.

The Labor Department received at least 141 insurance claims for contractor deaths in Afghanistan last year, up from 55 in 2008, department records show. U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan doubled to 311 last year.

The department collects the claims figures as part of a workers’ compensation program that provides benefits for injuries or deaths at companies doing U.S. government work overseas. The program paid out about $200 million in 2008, up from $9.4 million in 2001, when the war in Afghanistan began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The increase in deaths in Afghanistan comes as tens of thousands more contractors are surging into the country while insurgent violence there spikes, said Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, a trade group of companies that provide security and other services in war zones. The number of contractors for the U.S. military in Afghanistan rose by 50 percent last year to 107,000, according to the Pentagon’s Central Command.

A State Department report released this month said “all Westerners and Afghans associated with Westerners are targets” in Afghanistan.

“Things are getting more dangerous in Afghanistan because insurgents are getting more bold,” Brooks said. “For contractors, Afghanistan used to be the place where you went on vacation, because it was safer than Iraq. Now it’s turned around, and Iraq is relatively safe.”

Still, Iraq remains a dangerous place for contractors — almost as risky as it is for U.S. troops.

The number of contractors killed in Iraq declined only slightly. There were at least 146 death claims for contractors in Iraq last year, down from 174 the year before. Meanwhile, U.S. military deaths in Iraq were cut in half from 313 in 2008 to 148 last year.

President Obama last year ordered more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to fight a resurgent Taliban insurgency and provide better security for Afghan civilians. Gen. David Petraeus, head of Central Command, said last week that nearly half of the 30,000 new troops have arrived.

There are currently about 99,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The Pentagon plans to withdraw all but about 50,000 non-combat troops by the end of August.

There is no way of knowing the exact number of overseas contractors working for the U.S., or precisely how many have been killed or injured.

A 2008 law requires agencies to track information about overseas contractors, including statistics on casualties, but that database is not complete, John Hutton of the Government Accountability Office told Congress in March. Also, the Labor Department figures may underestimate the number of contractors killed because some firms, particularly subcontractors, may not report those casualties.

The contractors provide a wide range of services, including building U.S.-funded reconstruction projects, guarding civilian officials and cooking meals for American troops. Deaths and injuries reported to the Labor Department include both war-related casualties, such as from roadside bombs, and other work-related incidents, such as vehicle crashes.

Contractors’ survivors receive weekly payments equal to as much as two-thirds of the deceased’s pay up to $64,740 per year. Disabled workers can get up to two-thirds of their previous wages, subject to the same cap.

You may want to go here and comment regards the availability of the DBA “benefits”

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, State Department | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

T Christian Miller on Bill Carlisle and Injured War Zone Contractors

Bill Carlisle interviewed by T Miller

T Miller brings to light yet another Injured War Zone Contractor who is about to become  homeless due to the unwarranted  denial of Defense Base Act insurance benefits by AIG.    Bill Carlisle has worked hard his whole life and was working hard when he was injured.  Thanks to AIG and the fact no one in Congress or the DoL seems to give a damn, Bill’s home is in foreclosure with a sale date within the month.

So what if he eventually gets the payments he is already supposed to be getting?  His credit is ruined and he won’t be able to buy another home.   He’s just another KBR AIG DBA casualty.  AIG and CNA are ruining one life right after another.

Why is the Taxpayer paying for these benefits?

In recent years, the Pentagon has come to increasingly rely on private military contractors to do the work that members of the military used to do. But as the number of civilian contractors has grown, so too has the number of deaths and injuries of those contractors and with it, the cost of paying health care benefits for their injury claims.

T. Christian Miller [1] recently won the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting [2] for his coverage of the numerous obstacles contractors face [3] when they’ve been injured and try to collect benefits. We spoke to him about who is responsible for taking care of injured contractors, the ordeal they have to go through to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the role AIG plays in this, contractor suicide rates and how Congress is addressing the problem.

We also hear from one of the people facing the difficulties Miller has documented. Bill Carlisle Jr. was a contractor with defense firm KBR. He sustained both physical and psychological injuries, and is now fighting insurer AIG for the benefits he says they owe him

Go here to listen to the Podcast

Articles discussed in this podcast:

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

The Other Victims of Battlefield Stress; Defense Contractors’ Mental Health Neglected

Injured Abroad, Neglected at Home: Labor Dept. Slow to Help War Zone Contractors

Labor Dept., Congress Plan Improvements to System to Care for Injured War Contractors

Pentagon Study Proposes Overhaul of Defense Base Act to Cover Care for injured Contractors

Download this episode

March 12, 2010 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Contractor Casualties, KBR | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civilian Contractors Toll in Iraq and Afghanistan Ignored by Defense Dept.

Civilian Contractor Toll in Iraq and Afghanistan Ignored by Defense Dept.

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – October 9, 2009

afghanistan-2007-contractorbombed_gt20091009An Afghan policeman walks past a vehicle that had carried U.S. civilian contractors, after it was targeted by a suicide bomber in the Logar province. (Farzana Wahidy/AFP/Getty Images/January 2007 file photo)

s the war in Afghanistan entered its ninth year, the Labor Department recently released new figures [1] for the number of civilian contract workers who have died in war zones since 9/11. Although acknowledged as incomplete, the figures show that at least 1,688 civilians have died and more than 37,000 have reported injuries while working for U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than 5,200 soldiers have died in the two war zones, meaning that one civilian contractor has died for every three soldiers — a ratio that reflects the unprecedented degree to which the Pentagon has outsourced the work of war. Civilian contractors make up [2] about half the total U.S. forces in the war zones and they have been deployed on the front lines far more than any previous U.S. conflict [3]. Iraq and Afghanistan are the most outsourced wars in U.S. history.

Despite the importance of civilian contractors to its mission, the Defense Department hasn’t been measuring their sacrifice. A little-noticed report [4] from the Government Accountability Office last week noted that the Pentagon has yet to implement a Congressional requirement to track contractor fatalities.

Military officials brushed off inquiries from the GAO, telling the agency that they “continue to lack a system to reliably track killed or wounded contractor personnel.” To get a handle on the issue, the GAO examined a sample of files from the Labor Department, which oversees a workers compensation program required by a federal law known as the Defense Base Act. The act requires contract firms to purchase insurance to cover civilians injured or killed while working abroad on federal contracts.

While the system is not designed to track war injuries, investigators determined that about 11 percent of reported contractor casualties stem from combat — about the same percentage of soldier casualties attributed to hostile action, according to an April 2007 report [5] by the Veterans Affairs Department. For both groups, most injuries are due to vehicle collisions, muscle or back strains or common, everyday accidents.

The Department of Defense is not alone in ignoring its hired help. Neither the State Department nor USAID could tell with certainty how many contractors they employed, the GAO found. USAID, for instance, failed to report how many civilians it had put to work under a $91 million contract to develop hydroelectric plants and small and medium businesses in Afghanistan. A State Department contracting officer insisted that there was no need to track local Iraqi hires, despite specific statutory language to the contrary, the report found. “Officials acknowledged that they are likely undercounting the actual number of contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the GAO concluded. State, USAID and DOD officials all told the GAO that they were working to fix the problem.

What it all means is that nine years after the launch of the most contractor-intensive war in U.S. history, nobody is sure how many contractors there are, what they are doing, or how many have been killed or wounded.

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment