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Combat Support Associates (CSA) Archive

The press release does not list the name of the “prime contractor” but I was able to find this information on JobNet:

Combat Support Associates, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait / Alarm Services Manager
Name  Barry Szafran
Employer   Combat Support Associates, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Position   Alarm Services Manager
Dates   February, 2008 – Current
Job Category   Full Time
Responsibilities   an 11 MAN team responsible for the repair, installation, and maintenance of over 300 Fire Alarm Control Systems. Managed and coordinated all plans of new construction and building conversions / refits in accordance with NFPA 25, 72 and 101 (Click HERE for link) 

CSA employees past and present, feel free to provide any info you have and would like to share regarding this.   ~Forseti

Jewett City Man Pleads Guilty to Accepting Kickbacks From Military Supplier in Kuwait
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Barry S. Szafran, 49, of Jewett City, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to one count of illegally receiving a gratuity.  The charge relates to Szafran’s accepting kickbacks from a foreign supplier of fire safety systems to a military base in Kuwait in Iraq.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Szafran was the civilian fire alarm manager at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for a prime contractor for the U.S. Army on a government-owned, contractor-operated base.  In this position, Szafran had a leading role in maintaining an adequate supply of repair/replacement parts for fire safety systems for the facility.  In pleading guilty, Szafran admitted that, from April 2008 to April 2009, he repeatedly provided favorable treatment to a local parts vendor, which was a subcontractor for a larger supplier, in connection with certain contracts.  During this time period, Szafran received things of value from the local parts vendor, including a round-trip airplane ticket between Kuwait and Rhode Island, meals and scented candles.

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According to a letter from the Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center the Kuwait Base Operations and Security Support Services (K-BOSSS) contract W52P1J-09-R-0065 has been awarded to ITT Federal Services International Corporation.

The Government received five (5) timely proposals and one (1) late proposal. Of the five (5) competitive proposals, one was eliminated from the competitive range.

The determination of contract award was based on the overall best value to the Government among the four offers in the competitive range.

K-BOSSS is one of three contracts that will replace the current Combat Support Services Contract-Kuwait (CSSC-K) contract #DASA02-99-C-1234 held by Combat Support Services (CSA) in Kuwait. The three contracts replacing CSSC-K are Kuwait Base Operation Security Support Services, Ammunition Supply Point, and Supply Support Activity. The CSSC-K contract was to end September 30, 2010 unless it is extended again. The total amount of CSA’s CSSC-K contract has approached $3.5 billion since first awarded in 1999.

According to FedBizOpps.gov the amount of the contract is $75 Million! I don’t know what the length of the contract is for and how many options are available.

Regarding the recent scathing DoDIG Report regarding CSA’s lax security on the CSSC-K contract, one has to wonder if that weighed in on the Governments award decision. Not knowing for sure if they even bid, I wonder if it was their proposal that was eliminated.

Let the protests begin!!

Ms Sparky

DoD: Civilian contractors in Kuwait didn’t have proper clearances

From Charley Keyes, CNN Senior Producer September 22, 2010

Washington (CNN) — A new Defense Department report says many civilian contractors working in Kuwait didn’t have proper clearances and could have jeopardized the safety of U.S. military personnel and undermined national security.

The Defense Department Inspector General said dozens of contractors worked in sensitive positions without security clearances or the official passes they needed. And some of those people, according to the report, were allowed to remain on the job even after inspectors uncovered the security problems.

The report says a company called Combat Support Associates (CSA) was awarded the contract in 1999 for what was called Combat Support Services Contract-Kuwait (CSSC-K). The contract was extended and is due to expire at the end of September after costing the government more than $3.3 billion dollars.

“CSSC-K contractor employees occupied sensitive positions such as force protection officers, system administrators, and supply inspectors in Kuwait without obtaining security clearances,” the report says.

The department’s inspector general says the company’s security office failed to track 21 of 379 employees who were in sensitive positions, such as ammunition supply, and that 11 employees did not have a valid security clearance. In addition there was no information whether some of the employees had a U.S. passport, although U.S. citizenship was required by the contract.

“Additionally, CSA officials allowed 20 employees to remain in sensitive positions without the required security clearance after its internal quality assurance office and DCMA ( the Defense Contract Management Agency, overseeing the contract) officials informed CSA officials that they were in violation of the contract,” the report says. “If DCMA and contractor officials do not ensure that all employees have the required security clearances and maintain proper security information, they jeopardize the military mission and threaten the safety and security of the military, civilian, and contractor personnel in Kuwait.”

CNN was unable to contact representatives of the contractor. The inspector general’s report says the company claims it did not understand the terms of the agreement.

“According to CSA’s human resources information system analyst, the Army did not clearly define or designate all sensitive positions; therefore, CSA officials relied on their own department managers to determine which positions required a security clearance,” the report says.

And the report suggests the Army and Pentagon’s oversight of the contract may have been lacking.

“If the Army does not ensure that all contractor employees have the required security clearances and maintain proper security information, these employees pose a threat to the military, civilian, and U.S. contractor personnel in Kuwait, as well as to national security,” the report says. (click HERE for original article)

No Afghan trip for 2 ex-Blackwater defendants
NORFOLK -  July 31, 2010 – A federal judge said Friday he will allow a videotaped deposition of an Afghan doctor in the murder case against two former Blackwater security guards. Siding with the government, he ruled against sending the defendants to Afghanistan for the testimony.

The former Blackwater workers, Christopher Drotleff of Virginia Beach and Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, are charged with killing two Afghan citizens and wounding a third after a traffic accident in Kabul in May 2009.

The government contends the two left an Army base without permission and had been drinking that day. Drotleff and Cannon say they fired in self-defense when the Afghans charged at them in a vehicle. (Click HERE for article)

Court rules man has paid restitution
Lynne Hendricks – July 31, 2010 – AMESBURY — A U.S. District Court judge ruled this week that Amesbury resident Paul Arguin, 47, has satisfied his restitution to the U.S. government and should not be liable for the full $3.2 million he was sentenced to pay after pleading guilty to charges of fraud while a consultant for the Air Force.

The former longtime School Committee member has turned over approximately $700,000 to $800,000 in restitution to date, according to the indictment. According to a judge considering Arguin’s request to deem the debt satisfied, that amount is sufficient to compensate the government, given it received a $15 million settlement from Arguin’s employer Dynamic Research Corporations in a related civil suit.

Arguin served a five-year jail sentence for improperly profiting from a U.S. Air Force contract by setting up corporations to sell and resell computer storage devices to the government and directing the business to corporations he and his boss had interests in, according to the indictment.

Arguin and his boss, Victor J. Garber, 63, formerly of North Andover were indicted in 2000, charged with 49 counts of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, wire fraud and aiding and abetting in violation of U.S. law, among other charges. It was asserted the two used their positions as technology consultants to the Air Force employed by defense contractor DRC to divert government procurement funds for personal use. (Click HERE for article)

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Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indian and Sri Lankan people demonstrating in front of the warehouses they are living in. They came to Iraq to make a living but ended up stranded and penniless

If you have been reading “Ms Sparky” very long you know how I feel about the massive hiring of third country nationals (TCN’s) from SE Asia. This practice encourages human trafficking that appears to go unchecked. Many of these TCN’s were recruited under false pretenses and thought they had paid recruiters for jobs in Dubai or Jordan only to find out they we coming to Iraq just before they landed in Baghdad. Passports are taken, if they are even being paid as agreed to it is pennies in comparison to Americans, their living conditions are overcrowded and unsanitary, the food lacks in proper nutrition. Many of these TCN’s are left stranded in Iraq when the contractor skips.  Once in country these people are often further exploited financially and sexually. This practice of using US taxpayer dollars to sanction this human trafficking has to stop. If the DoD claims they don’t know these abuses are going on they are bold face liars!

With the US economy in the toilet and US citizens out of work, these war zone jobs should be offered to US citizens first. Those who will spend the money in the US, in their home States, in their communities. Talk about and economic boost.  And the old excuse that it’s too expensive to hire Americans is bull sh*t! The DoD could care less about the money they spend. To them the end justifies the means.

Here is a great article by David Isenberg at the Huffington Post on the most recent SIGER report on contractor numbers in Iraq. The TCN numbers are staggering.

SIGIR’s Latest on PMC

David IsenbergHuffington Post – April 30, 2010
Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)

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

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