State Dept. To Hire Contractor to Babysit Misbehaving Contractors in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Protecting the U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Instead of directly taking over management of a private security contractor whose employees were caught partying near the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, the State Department has decided to hire another contractor to oversee the troubled company.

Evidence turned up last September that ArmorGroup, a British company hired to guard the embassy, had allowed workers to get drunk, haze new employees, sexually harass Afghan nationals, misuse private property and bring a prostitute into Camp Sullivan, where they were stationed.
After learning of the debauchery, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security fired 10 ArmorGroup employees and decided to cancel the third year of the company’s contract. But until the remainder of the deal expires on July 1, the government needs someone to mind the rest of the contractor’s work. Thus, the decision to hire another company to watch over the situation.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, was not pleased with the State Department’s solution. “I am concerned that the steps taken by the department may not go far enough to ensure that there is sufficient transparency, accountability and oversight of the contract,” she wrote in a letter to Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management. “In particular, I am troubled by the decision to employ a contractor to provide contract oversight for the department.”
ArmorGroup was purchased in 2008 by G4S (formerly known as Group 4 Security), which just signed a three-year $105 million contract to protect the British Embassy in Kabul
-Noel Brinkerhoff
State Will Hire Contractor to Supervise Private Embassy Guards (by Robert Brodsky, Government Executive)


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