Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Wackenhut Security Guards Cheat on Recertification Exams

Exam Said to Be Leaked to Guards at Nuclear Site

The New York Times   October 31, 2012

WASHINGTON — The security guards at a nuclear weapons plant who failed to stop an 82-year-old nun from reaching a bomb fuel storage building earlier this year were also cheating on a recertification exam, according to an internal investigation by the Department of Energy, which owns the weapons plant.

The exam, with answers, was circulated to guards at the Y-12 National Security Complex, near Oak Ridge, Tenn., before they sat down to take it, according to the report, by the department’s inspector general. The report, released on Wednesday, said that the cheating was enabled by the department itself. It was routine practice for the department to involve contractor personnel in preparation of such exams, because the federal government did not know enough about the security arrangements to write the exam without the help of the contractor

A federal security official sent the exam by encrypted e-mail to “trusted agents” at the management contractor, B&W, but did not instruct those executives to keep it secret from the people who would have to take it, according to the report. The government found out about the cheating only because an inspector visiting the plant noticed a copy of an exam on the seat of a patrol vehicle the day before guards were to take it.

The security contractor was Wackenhut, but its contract was terminated after a security breach on July 28, when the nun, Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, and two accomplices cut through three layers of fence, splashed blood on a building housing bomb-grade uranium, performed a Christian ritual and then waited to be apprehended. A subsequent investigation found that many security cameras had been disabled long before the break-in.

Please read the entire article here

November 1, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wackenhut, WSI, fired after nuke plant break-in

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) –  October 1, 2012

The security contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee was fired Monday after authorities said three protesters cut through fences and vandalized a building in an unprecedented break-in.

Security contractor WSI Oak Ridge said it has started winding down operations and will transfer its protective force functions to B&W Y-12, the managing contractor at the plant, over the next several weeks. The Department of Energy had earlier recommended that WSI’s contract be terminated.

The security contractor was criticized for its poor response when the protesters, including an 82-year-old Roman Catholic nun, cut through fences on July 28 and defaced a building that stores the plant’s weapons grade uranium

Please read the entire article here

October 2, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wackenhut, Murder, and Vetting Employees

The Washington Post  Associated Press October 1, 2012WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court won’t let the family of a raped and murdered college girl sue the employer of her killers for her 1979 death.

The high court on Monday refused to let the parents of Janet Chandler sue Wackenhut Corp., which in 1979 was hired to send security guards to Holland, Mich., to provide security during a strike.

Chandler, who was a 23-year-old college student working at a hotel, was kidnaped, raped and killed by Wackenhut guards, who then covered up her death. Six people were convicted of first or second degree murder, five of whom worked for Wackenhut. But the federal courts have said Chandler’s family cannot sue Wackenhut for her long-ago death.The high court refused to reconsider that ruling.

October 1, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Oversight, Lawsuits, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will ArmorGroup, AGNA, G4S, finally be held accountable for the deaths of Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare??

The programme-makers heard stories of contractors being forced to work on dangerous missions with inadequate equipment, incident reports sanitised to protect company reputations and numerous deaths of former soldiers.

One security contractor, Bob Shepherd, said: “We know when a soldier dies it’s all over the newspapers, it’s on the TV. But we never know when security contractors die.

“For the companies it’s bad for business, for the government it’s hiding the true cost of these conflicts.

“If the British taxpayers knew the total numbers of people that have died on behalf of British security companies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan they would be shocked.”

BBC News Oct 1, 2012

Security firm G4S was sent warnings not to employ an armed guard in Iraq just days before he murdered two colleagues, a BBC investigation has found.

Private security guard Paul McGuigan, from the Scottish Borders, was shot dead by Danny Fitzsimons in 2009 in Baghdad while on a protection contract.

Another man, Australian Darren Hoare, was also killed.

All were working for UK contractor G4S, which was operating under the name ArmorGroup in the region.

Violent criminal

In a BBC documentary, it is revealed that a G4S worker sent a series of emails to the company in London, warning them about Fitzsimons’s previous convictions and unstable behaviour.

The anonymous whistleblower signed one email “a concerned member of the public and father”.

The worker warned G4S: “I am alarmed that he will shortly be allowed to handle a weapon and be exposed to members of the public.

“I am speaking out because I feel that people should not be put at risk.”

Another email, sent as Fitzsimons was due to start work in Baghdad, said: “Having made you aware of the issues regarding the violent criminal Danny Fitzsimons, it has been noted that you have not taken my advice and still choose to employ him in a position of trust.

“I have told you that he remains a threat and you have done nothing.”

Within 36 hours of arriving in Iraq in August 2009, Fitzsimons – a former paratrooper – had shot and killed the two men after what he claimed was a drunken brawl.

Paul McGuigan Paul McGuigan was killed by Fitzsimons

An Iraqi colleague was also wounded as Fitzsimons tried to flee the scene.

Fitzsimons had worked as a private security contractor before in Iraq, but he had been sacked for punching a client.

At the time he was taken on by G4S, Fitzsimons also had a criminal record, was facing outstanding charges of assault and a firearms offence, and had been diagnosed by doctors as having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

In the documentary, the parents of Paul McGuigan call for the company to face criminal charges over the killing.

His mother Corinne Boyd-Russell, from Innerleithen in the Borders, said: “[Fitzsimons] fired the bullets. But the gun was put in his hand by G4S ArmorGroup. They put the gun in that man’s hand.

“I want G4S to be charged with corporate manslaughter and be held accountable for what they did.”

Corinne Boyd-Russell Corinne Boyd-Russell wants G4S charged with corporate manslaughter

The parents of Danny Fitzsimons, who is serving 20 years in a Baghdad prison after being sentenced for the murders in February 2011, were also shocked to hear about the existence of the emails.

Liz Fitzsimons, from Manchester, said: “And they still took him out there? They [G4S] need to be taken to task for that.

“The people who we feel are responsible, who we hold responsible for putting that gun in Danny’s hand, are without a shadow of a doubt G4S.”

A G4S spokesman admitted that its screening of Danny Fitzsimons “was not completed in line with the company’s procedures”.

It said vetting had been tightened since the incident.

Regarding the email warnings, the spokesman G4S told the BBC it was aware of the allegations but that an internal investigation showed “no such emails were received by any member of our HR department”.

He did not say whether anyone else in the company had seen them.

An inquest into the death of Paul McGuigan, a former Royal Marine, is due to begin in December.

The revelations in the Fitzsimons case come just weeks after G4S found itself at the centre of a crisis over its inability to meet its commitment to recruit security staff for the Olympics in London.

It is the biggest security company in the world in an industry that is worth about £400bn globally

WARNINGS ABOUT KILLER OF SCOT WENT UNHEEDED  October 1, 2012

Danny Fitzsimons was sentenced to at least 20 years in an Iraqi prison last year

CONTROVERSIAL security firm G4S ignored warnings not to employ an armed guard in Iraq who went on to murder two of his colleagues, it has been claimed.

Danny Fitzsimons was sentenced to at least 20 years in an Iraqi prison last year for killing Scot Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare in Baghdad in 2009.The parents of Paul McGuigan, 37, have now called for G4S ArmorGroup to face criminal charges for failing to heed the warnings and sending Fitzsimons to Iraq.Now a new BBC Scotland documentary has revealed that G4S was warned not to employ Fitzsimons, who was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had been fired by a previous security contractor for punching a client.

It emerged that a whistleblower sent two e-mails to the London-based company, which operates as Armorgroup in Iraq, expressing concerns that Fitzsimons’ unstable behaviour made him unsuitable to be handling weapons in a war zone.

The first e-mail, revealed in tonight’s BBC Scotland Investigates: Britain’s Private War programme, reads: “I am alarmed that he will shortly be allowed to handle a weapon and be exposed to members of the public. I am speaking out because I feel that people should not be put at risk.”And in a second e-mail, sent as 32-year-old Fitzsimons was about to start work in Baghdad, the whistleblower adds:“Having made you aware of the issues regarding the violent criminal Danny Fitzsimons, it has been noted that you have not taken my advice and still choose to employ him in a position of trust.

“I have told you that he remains a threat and you have done nothing.”Paul McGuigan’s mother, Corinne Boyd-Russell, from Innerleithen, in Peebleshire, said: “Fitzsimons fired the bullets. But the gun was put in his hand by G4S ArmorGroup.“I want G4S to be charged with corporate manslaughter and be held accountable for what they did.”

The parents of Fitzsimons were also shocked to hear about the existence of the e-mails.

Mother Liz Fitzsimons, from Manchester, said: “The people who we feel are responsible, who we hold responsible for putting that gun in Danny’s hand, are without a shadow of a doubt G4S.”

The news comes just months after the UK Government was forced to call in 1,200 troops to police the Olympic Games venues after G4S failed to provide enough staff.

The firm recently won a £20million contract to manage the electronic tagging of Scottish offenders.

A spokesman for G4S said: “Although there was evidence that Mr Fitzsimons falsified and apparently withheld material information during the recruitment process, his screening was not completed in line with the company’s procedures.

“Our screening processes should have been better implemented in this situation, but it is a matter of speculation what, if any, role this may have played in the incident.”

September 30, 2012 Posted by | ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, G4S, Lawsuits, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Security Clearances, State Department, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guards file suit against Oak Ridge contractor, seeking pay for ‘off-the-clock’ work

Knox News March 13, 2012

More than 300 current and former security police officers have filed a federal lawsuit against G4S Government Solutions, the government’s security contractor in Oak Ridge, claiming violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The lawsuit contends that Oak Ridge guards were required to perform various activities before and after their work shifts without being paid their straight time wages or overtime as required by law. The suit was filed March 9 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville by attorney Garry Ferraris.

G4S does business in Oak Ridge as WSI-Oak Ridge. WSI spokeswoman Courtney Henry said the company had no comment at this time.

The lawsuit is seeking back wages for the past three years, which reportedly is the statute of limitations for willful violations of the federal labor act. If the court certifies this as a collective action, the lawsuit could be opened to hundreds of other Oak Ridge guards potentially affected by decision.

Please see the original and read more here

March 13, 2012 Posted by | G4S, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who’s Contracting Mess Won’t Appear in FAPIIS, but Should?

Cross Posted from The Fine Print at OMB Watch

Give yourself credit if you guessed “ArmorGroup North America Inc.” (AGNA) and the “Lord of the Flies” environment they oversaw in the housing camp for U.S embassy guards in Kabul, Afghanistan, which our friends over at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) exposed back in 2009.

Earlier this month, AGNA, the private security company and subsidiary of the British security services conglomerate G4S, settled a whistleblower’s lawsuit associated with the scandal, agreeing to pay a $7.5 million fine. Importantly, though, the contractor settled the suit without an admission of fault or liability, effectively sweeping the incident under the rug with regard to future considerations of government contracts

Any future contracting officials seeking to determine ArmorGroup’s integrity and trustworthiness will not see the incident listed in the government’s top contracting performance database, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).

Currently, FAPIIS only displays lawsuits or administrative actions taken by federal, state, or local governments where there is an admission of fault or liability by the contractor. And guess what contractors always demand whenever they settle something out of court; yup, immunity from any finding of fault, keeping many of the worst contracting abuses out of the government’s databases and away from the eyes of contracting officials.

In AGNA’s case, that includes allegations of the company blatantly disregarding “its obligations to ensure the safety and security of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul” – according to the whistleblower who sued – and various other nefarious wrongdoings – according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Offenses include:

  • “AGNA submitted false claims for payment on a State Department contract to provide armed guard services at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan”;
  • “[I]n 2007 and 2008, AGNA guards violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) by visiting brothels in Kabul, and that AGNA’s management knew about the guards’ activities”;
  • “AGNA misrepresented the prior work experience of 38 third country national guards it had hired to guard the Embassy”; and
  • “AGNA failed to comply with certain Foreign Ownership, Control and Influence mitigation requirements on the embassy contract, and on a separate contract to provide guard services at a Naval Support Facility in Bahrain.”

Those seem like some important pieces of information that a contracting official might want to take into consideration if choosing between ArmorGroup and one of its modestly more responsible competitors when determining the award of a future federal contract.

Of course, contracting officials – and the public for that matter – could see this information if Congress simply passed some common sense contracting transparency reforms. Last spring, then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced a bi-partisan bill including just such reforms.

Included in the legislation was language to pull into FAPIIS “records of any administrative proceeding entered into by a contractor at any level of government” no matter the finding of fault or liability. There was also a provision “increasing the length of time from five years to 10 that a contractor’s past performance record on a government contract” would stay in the database.

The legislation ingloriously died in committee, however, and with Sen. Feingold now out of the Senate, the transparency community needs a new champion to step up in Congress and push for these basic contracting reforms.

Please see the original and leave your comments at OMB Watch

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wackenhut Information Breach

Stolen hard drives put former Iraq firefighters at risk

This is cross posted from MsSparky

On December 9, Services, LLC (WSLLC) President David W. Foley sent a letter to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and informed them that:

On November 29, 2010, we discovered that certain hard drives shipped from our office in Iraq were stolen in transit to out US offices along with other office equipment. After investigation, on November 30, 2010 we determined, to the best of our knowledge, that the stolen hard drives contained personal information of certain of our past employees. Based on our investigation, we believe that the stolen hard drives contained the following unencrypted personal information of our past employees: (i) first and last names, (ii) social security numbers, (iii) passport numbers, (iv) last known home addresses and (v) date of birth and place of birth.

On December 13, 2010 WSLLC notified each of the affected personnel via the US Postal Service to inform them of the breach. They were offered a one year subscription to ConsumerInfo.com credit monitoring service and some advice on how to best protect their credit.

was the primary provider of fire protection services at FOB’s/COB’s in Iraq from 2004 until they lost the contract in Nov 2010. The loss of the contract would account for the reason the hard drives and office equipment was being shipped back to the states. That’s six years worth of employee information on those hard drives. We could easily be talking about 10,000 affected employees.

I’ve contacted WSLLC for answers to specific questions and asked if they would like to make a statement regarding this incident. As of the publishing of this post I have yet to received a response from them.

is not the first company to lose control of it’s employees personal information. A an employee of joint Venture () and DAAR published and distributed  the names and social security of 269 employees working in Iraq and elsewhere. was the contractor awarded the task of electrical inspections in Iraq for Task Force SAFE. They have since been replaced Versar International Inc.. Many victims on this list were employees of the individual companies in Iraq and elsewhere and had no association with the joint venture.  I believe the four individual companies of  Stanley Consutants, Michael Baker Corporation, Hill International,  or DAAR Engineering still have US Government contracts.  At the time of that posting SHB still had not officially notified everyone on the list. Many found out about the breach after reading the article on MsSparky.com. I do not believe ever contacted any State Attorney General’s office.

If you have more information regarding the information breach, please contact MsSparky

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, G4S, Iraq, Wackenhut | , , , , , | Leave a comment