Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

State Dept. IG Finds Waste and Mismanagement on Afghanistan Contract

By NEIL GORDON at POGO  Oct 12, 2011

The Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC) may be history, but the need for a contingency operations watchdog of the CWC’s caliber will never go away. In fact, just as the CWC was closing up shop last week, the State Department Inspector General released a report finding problems on a $12 million contract in Afghanistan.

The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) awarded a contract to DynCorp International to provide operations and maintenance support services at Camp Falcon in Kabul, Afghanistan. Under the contract, DynCorp provides almost everything needed to sustain the camp, including food, laundry and medical services, pest control, electric power generation, sewage and sanitation, and security. While the Inspector General determined that, in general, DynCorp “adequately” operates and maintains the camp, the report found weaknesses in DynCorp’s performance of food, fuel operations, and static security guard services.

First, the report found that INL overpaid DynCorp as much as $940,000 for meals. Although DynCorp’s cost proposal to INL established a daily rate per person for meals, the subcontractor charged DynCorp per meal rather than per person. DynCorp, in turn, invoiced INL at the higher per meal rate. The overcharges were caused in part by INL’s two in-country contracting officers, who were “spread too thinly” to be able to adequately review and approve all purchases.

Second, the report found that DynCorp could not verify that Camp Falcon receives the correct amount of diesel fuel for its electric generators or determine how much fuel is used at the camp. DynCorp does not maintain records for the amount of fuel pumped in and consumed. Not only does this increase the risk to the government of overpayment and waste, not knowing the amount of fuel on hand could put camp operations at risk if generators unexpectedly run out of fuel. The report notes that DynCorp does not plan to change the current fuel delivery process.

Finally, while DynCorp’s static guard force has been generally effective in ensuring the safety of the camp’s approximately 1,000 residents, the report found that guards did not have the required English language proficiency and worked an excessive number of hours without a break. All of the guards are third-country nationals, yet DynCorp failed to verify their English proficiency. Although guards are supposed to work 6 days per week, the report found guards working 14 days in a row for as many as 24 consecutive pay periods. The report notes that static guard personnel continue to work this grueling schedule. It is for these reasons that POGO has long been concerned about the use of contractor security guards in war zones.

DynCorp, one of the three primary LOGCAP IV contractors in Afghanistan, is currently the 32nd largest contractor in POGO’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database. It has 8 instances of misconduct (3 of which involve allegations of overcharging the government) and $19.5 million in penalties. In January, it was reported that DynCorp violated security procedures at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan by escorting undocumented foreign laborers onto the base. Around that time, POGO had obtained a DynCorp security incident report documenting that several third-country nationals had gained access to Kandahar Airfield through questionable circumstances. In April, DynCorp paid $7.7 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it defrauded the government on a contract to provide civilian police training in Iraq

October 12, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dangerously Blurring the Line: How the DoD Allows Contractors to Grade Themselves and Write Their Own Contract Terms

One of the most egregious actions in this report was to allow the contractors to write up the requirements of the follow-on contract and then allow them to bid and win the contract.

by: Dina Rasor, Truthout | Solutions   July 20, 2011

The Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General’s (IG) office recently found that the Marine Corp allowed their contactors for a vital troop protection system to act as government employees, including directing and evaluating government employees’ work, grading their own work and writing up requirements for the follow-on contract. The contractors then bid on those requirements and won multimillion-dollar contracts.

The IG issued a report this month with the mundane title, “Contract Management of Joint Logistics Integrator Services in Support of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles Needs Improvement.” The report points out, in glaring examples, how the Marine Corp allowed two companies to infiltrate and control two very important logistics and maintenance contracts.

The program where this abuse occurred could not be more crucial to the troops. The program does maintenance support and logistics for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles program (MRAP). MRAP is a $17.6 billion program to build or modify military vehicles with a V-shaped hull to prevent or reduce troop injuries and death from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). MRAP was a rushed program because it had the potential to save lives and prevent severe injury at a time when IEDs were wreaking havoc on American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

From the report:

On May 2, 2007, the Secretary of Defense designated the MRAP program as the highest priority DoD acquisition program and stated that all options to accelerate the production and fielding of the MRAP capability to the theater should be identified, assessed and applied where feasible. To reduce the burden on units receiving MRAP vehicles, JPO [Joint Program Office] MRAP established a forward presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait. According to the Joint Supportability Plan, the JPO MRAP Forward includes personnel from the JPO, JLI [Joint Logistics Integrator] and MRAP vehicle original equipment manufacturers to form an integrated team to stand-up, coordinate and execute JPO MRAP operations in theater.

The two companies, Jacobs Technology and SAIC (Science Applications International Corp) received contracts worth $193 million and $285 million, respectively, to do this work. SAIC started out as a subcontractor in the Jacobs Technology contract and then won the bid for the follow-on contract. This contract work was provided in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait from 2007 to 2011 and the DoD provided only one government employee overseas to oversee the whole program.

Please go to TruthOut to read the entire report

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Private Military Contractors | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment