Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

DynCorp fell short on Afghan police training

Aljazeera  August 16, 2011

A US-based military contractor has failed to provide nearly 60 per cent of the instructors needed to train Afghan police under a contract with the US government, according to an audit issued on Monday.

The audit focused on the transfer of the Afghan police training programme from the US State Department to the US Defence department.

The investigation, carried out jointly by both departments, criticised both institutions for a lack of co-ordination in regards to police training in Afghanistan, which is a priority for the US-led NATO coalition as it prepares to transfer security to Afghan forces.

Under a $1 billion, two-year contract signed between the Defence Department and DynCorps International in December 2010, the firm was required to have instructors in place within a 120-day deadline.

Defence officials “reported that the incoming contractor did not have 428 of the 728 required personnel in place within the 120-day transition period,” said the audit.

The most notable discrepancy was in the number of police mentors that DynCorps was supposed to provide to the Afghan forces.

The audit said that 213 of the 377 required “Fielded Police Mentors” were not in their positions during the transition period.

It said the shortage “placed the overall mission at risk by not providing the mentoring essential for developing the Afghan government and police force.”

Please read the entire story at  Aljazeera

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, State Department | , , , , , , , | 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

SIGIR’s Latest on PMCs

By David Isenberg at Huff Post

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has just released its latest Quarterly Report.

The last report released in January, noted “For the quarter ending December 31, 2009, the Department of Labor (DoL) received reports of 13 new deaths of civilian contractors working in Iraq. DoL also received reports that 669 civilian contractors suffered injuries requiring them to miss at least four days of work. Since September 2001, the DoL has received reports of 1,459 deaths of civilian contractors.”

Contractor casualties nearly doubled in the latest quarter. SIGIR reports that in the first quarter of 2010, 25 deaths were reported to the Department of Labor (DoL),and 740 injuries were reported to the DOL as causing more than 3 days of lost work. Asof March 31, 2010, the number of deaths reported in Iraq is 1,471 since the DOL began compiling this data in March 2003.

The level of contracting services needed to support the drawdown of troops and equipment from Iraq has yet to be fully identied. Contractors will continue to provide a wide range of tasks essential for operations and for reconstruction programs, but DoD announced plans for a 30% reduction in overall contractor support (to a force of 75,000) by the end of FY 2010.

As of January 22, 2010, USF-I reported 100,035 DoD contractors working in Iraq:

51,990 third-country nationals
27,843 U.S. citizens
20,202 Iraqi nationals

As of March 31 there were approximately 102,000 DoD contractors working in Iraq, more than half of whom were providing life-support services to the U.S. military. DoD estimates that fewer than 75,000 contractors (excluding those working on the LOGCAP contract) will be operating in Iraq by August 2010, with more reductions anticipated after the U.S. military’s footprint shrinks. However, as the number of DoD contractors drops, there will be a concomitant increase in the number of contractors supporting DoS. For example, the advisors who will serve as the focal point for INL’s police-training program will need to be supported by about 1,500 other contractor personnel, including a significant number of security contractors.

This represents a significant decline in the absolute number of DoD contractors, from a high of more than 160,000 in September 2008. However, as a ratio of contractors to troops, the projection for August 2010 increases from roughly 1:1 to 3:2.

As of March 31, there were 2,795 DoS and USAID private security contractors (PSCs) working in Iraq. The report says that even today, it is difficult to estimate the total cost of providing security for reconstruction projects and personnel. DoD, DoS, and USAID have not been required to systematically identify financial data for PSCs. As the reconstruction effort evolves from large-scale infrastructure projects to capacity building, physical security could become a larger portion of total contract cost. In addition, requirements for PSC services for DoS and US AID are set to increase to compensate for support previously provided by the U.S. military. Services provided by the military, such as quick-reaction forces and medical evacuation, are difficult to quantify.

Despite years of effort to improve oversight corruption still occurs in the awarding of contracts. The report notes several indictments and plea agreements, including:

• An ongoing joint investigation by SIGIR, British investigators, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service led to the arrest of two British citizens. The investigation involves an $8.48 million contract awarded by the Coalition Provisional Authority to provide armored vehicles to Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior (MOI). It is alleged that the contractor personnel provided false documentation in order to receive full payment for the contract and failed to deliver any vehicles to the MOI.
• On January 27, 2010, Theresa Russell, a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, pled guilty to a one-count criminal information charging her with money laundering arising from a scheme involving the fraudulent awarding and administration of U.S. government contracts in Iraq. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 21, 2010.

• In February, former DoD contractor Terry Hall pled guilty to conspiring to pay more than $3 million in bribes to U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arijan, Kuwait. Hall owned and operated several companies that provided goods and services to the Department of Defense. The case against Hall arose out of a wide-ranging investigation of corruption at the Camp Arijan contracting office. To date, eight individuals, including Hall, have pled guilty for their roles in the bribery scheme.

• On February 26, 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a criminal information charging a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel with three counts of accepting illegal gratuities involving the award of a one-year, $8.2 million warehouse contract in Iraq.

• That same day, DOJ filed a criminal information charging a U.S. Army captain with one count of accepting a gratuity involving a DoD contract at Camp Arijan. The information was filed as a result of the captain’s alleged acceptance of $15,000 in cash from a government contractor for preparing a contract performance survey and recommending an overall rating of excellent.

• In early March, a captain in the United States Marine Corps was charged with conspiring with his wife to skim approximately $1.75 million from government contracts awarded under the Iraqi First Program while he was acting as a COR in Iraq. Moreover, because they allegedly failed to report any of these illegal payments on their tax return for 2008, they substantially understated their income to the Internal Revenue Service. During the course of this investigation, government agents also seized from the couple two properties in California, two automobiles, and approximately $40,000 in cash.

The military is trying to improve the quality of its acquisition workforce. On March 2, 2010, General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, issued a memo that established new standards for the selection and training of contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), who are responsible for contractor oversight. Among the reforms are pre-deployment selection and training and improved training materials for deployed CORs. In addition, commanders and supervisors are required to nominate personnel with experience in the type of contract support required, to ensure they receive contract-specific training, and to consider their effectiveness as CORs when preparing performance evaluations.

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

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SIGIR Identifies $340M Anomalous Transactions in Iraq Recon Funds

SIGIR Identifies $340M Anomalous Transactions in Iraq Recon Fund

at DiploPundit You’ll want to check out this blog for more interesting reading
SIGIR might be winding down but it continues its forensic review of Department of Defense (DoD), Department of State (DoS), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) expenditures. These reviews systematically examine Iraq reconstruction program expenditures to identify anomalies in transactional data that may indicate fraud, waste, or abuse. From its latest Interim Report (#2) dated January 28, 2010:

SIGIR’s Results to Date
51,000 | additional transactions reviewed by SIGIR$17.3 billion | value of transactions reviewed by SIGIR73,000 | total transactions reviewed todate$28 billion | total value of transactions reviewed todate$340 million | anomalous transactions identified800 | approximate number vendors involved with anomalous transactions27 | criminal investigations opened by SIGIR36 | total subjects in criminal investigations opened by SIGIR
Anomalous transactions excerpted from the report:

Since our last report, SIGIR has reviewed an additional 51,000 transactions valued at $17.3 billion, bringing the total transactions reviewed to 73,000 transactions valued at $28 billion. We continue to identify numerous anomalous transactions, including payments that may be duplicates, payments to possibly fictitious or generic vendors, notable variances in payment activity, payments occurring prior to or on the date of invoice, and oddly sequential contractor invoices. We also identified payments to firms with what appear to be fictitious addresses, and payments to possibly suspended or debarred contractors.
To date, we have identified almost $340 million in anomalous transactions involving approximately 800 vendors that we are in the process of researching to determine if they are fraudulent or improper. To do this, we are examining the transactions and reviewing relevant contract file documentation. Due to the number of transactions that must be examined, we are prioritizing our work using risk factors such as transaction type and amount and whether there is a prior history of questionable activity. A SIGIR forensic audit team is currently focusing on possible duplicate payments associated with DoD expenditures. In addition, a SIGIR initiative that focuses on programs that afford easy access to cash associated with weak controls over expenditures continues to identify instances of questionable activity. As a result of this effort, to date SIGIR has opened 27 criminal investigations currently involving a total of 36 subjects. Detailed information regarding ongoing criminal investigations will not be presented in these reports.
The results of SIGIR’s forensic audit efforts will generally be reported in the aggregate and specific findings will be included where appropriate and useful. We are also providing lessons learned that can be applied to other contingency operations, such as in Afghanistan.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment