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Seeking solutions and other news

… Of course, military contracts, “makes jobs.” So do automobile wrecks, dope traffic, prostitution, abortions, frivolous lawsuits, arson, wars and, perish the thought, social programs. It just happens to be hard to appropriations for such activities if undifferentiated job creation is your objective. Military contracting is another matter; it is downright unpatriotic even to question it. ~ Dina Rasor, Truthout

United States Sues Jacintoport International for False Claims in Connection with the Delivery of Humanitarian Food Aid
(DoJ) – October 19, 2012 – The United States has filed a complaint against Jacintoport International LLC under the False Claims Act in connection with a warehousing and logistics contract for the storage and redelivery of humanitarian food aid, the Justice Department announced today. Jacintoport is a cargo handling and stevedoring firm headquartered in Houston.

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The Pentagon’s “revolution” & other news

Debarment Report Shows How Some Agencies Use it Well
Six agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor, had zero suspension and debarment cases during the past five fiscal years, GAO’s report states.
(Occupational Health & Safety) – November 20, 2011 – The federal government uses a practice named suspension and debarment to exclude firms or individuals from receiving contracts to provide goods or services if they have engaged in certain crimes, such as bribery or tax evasion, or violated certain statutes or regulations. A new Government Accountability Office report says four agencies use the process more effectively than others because they employ full-time staff, have detailed policies and procedures, and encourage an active referral process.

Fortunately, the four doing it right, according to the report, include the General Services Administration, which manages thousands of federal buildings and thus buys a great many contracted goods and services. The other three are the U.S. Navy, the Defense Logistics Agency, and DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit, known as ICE. (Click HERE for article)

Senators propose new cap on contractor pay
Charles S. Clark – (GovExec) – November 18, 2011 – As the Senate nears consideration of the Defense authorization bill, three senators have added a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over the level of contractor executive compensation that should be reimbursed with taxpayer dollars.
 
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Short changing taxpayers and other news

The State Department has never faced a challenge anywhere close to this magnitude, and I am concerned that the current plan could therefore expose billions of taxpayers’ dollars supporting diplomatic and development goals in Iraq to the risk of being lost, wasted or stolen.

While the State Department will continue to rely initially on the Defense Department for some basic capabilities, it will ultimately turn to an army of contractor personnel to provide services ranging from essential physical security to fact-of-life support, such as food and laundry. Indeed, of the 16,000 U.S. personnel that will comprise the U.S. civilian presence in Iraq after this year, it is estimated that nearly 14,000 of them will be contractors. ~Senator John McCain, letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Sikorsky Made Excess Profit on Pentagon Parts Sold to Army
Tony Capaccico –  (Bloomberg) – November 4, 2011 – Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. made excess profit selling the U.S. Army helicopter parts that it bought at a lower price from the Pentagon’s primary supply agency, the Defense Department’s inspector general says.

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Anham LLC accused of outrageous overbilling in Iraq (Updated 7/31/2011)

Dubai Firm Overbilled Pentagon $900 for $7 Switch, Bowen Says

By David Lerman and Tony Capaccio – Jul 29, 2011 9:01 PM PT

A U.S. contractor in Iraq overbilled the Pentagon by at least $4.4 million for spare parts and equipment, including $900 for an electronic control switch valued at $7.05, according to a new audit.

Based on the questionable costs identified in a $300 million contract with Dubai-based Anham LLC, the U.S. should review all its contracts with the company in Iraq and Afghanistan, which total about $3.9 billion, said Special Inspector General For Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen.

“The audit found weak oversight in multiple areas that left the government vulnerable to improper overcharges,” Bowen wrote in the forward to his 30th quarterly report, released today. The contract in question was funded with a combination of money earmarked for Iraqi Security Forces and Army operations and maintenance funds.

Among the “egregious examples of overbilling” by Anham were $4,500 for a circuit breaker valued at $183.30, $3,000 for a $94.47 circuit breaker and $80 for a small segment of drain pipe valued at $1.41. Read the remainder of this entry »

Inspections mandatory for all DoD facilities

WASHINGTON (CN) – March 21, 2011 – Defense Department facilities, infrastructure and equipment provided by private military contractors such as KBR, DynCorp, and Fluor Corporation, overseas, are to be inspected for safety and habitability, under rules adopted under the National Defense Authorization Act.

According to the rules, prior to use, the facilities should be “brought into compliance with generally accepted standards for the safety and health of personnel to the maximum extent practicable consistent with the requirements of military operations and the best interests of the agency.”

Contracts will require compliance with the Unified Facilities Criteria 1-200-01 to meet generally accepted standards for fire protection, structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, water treatment, waste disposal, and telecommunications networks.

The rules apply to each contract, including task or delivery orders, entered into for the construction, installation, repair, maintenance, or operation of facilities, infrastructure, and equipment for use by Defense Department military or civilian personnel.

The rules were effective in 2010, in temporary form, and have now been adopted permanently.

Click HERE for original article and click HERE to read this regulation.