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Neil Gordon: Army of One … Contractor

Neil Gordon – (POGO) – January 11, 2013 – Mark Thompson posted an interesting federal contracting-related tidbit Tuesday on TIME’s national security blog, Battleland. He looked at a list of recent Department of Defense contract awards and noticed that many of them had received only one bid.

Of the 35 contracts in the list that Thompson reviewed, 20 of them, worth a combined $257 million, either solicited or received just a single bid. On many of them, including contracts awarded to big players such as Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), General Dynamics, Raytheon, and BAE Systems , the government solicited only one bid. Federal agencies are required to award contracts on the basis of full and open competition but are permitted to award non-competitive contracts in certain situations. The U.S. Army awarded 19 of the 20 contracts, which makes us wonder if the Army is perhaps taking its old “Army of One” slogan a bit too literally when it comes to contracting.

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Army drops suspension of contractor in criminal probe

The Army reversed the suspension Nov. 15, allowing Camille Chidiac to bid for new federal contracts, including an extension of the propaganda contract in January.

Photo Leonie Industries’ Website

Tom Vanden Brook – (USA Today) – WASHINGTON — December 30, 2012 – The Army has lifted its suspension of the owner of its top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan, despite the Pentagon’s ongoing criminal investigation against him for late tax payments, treatment of his Afghan employees and an online smear campaign he launched against USA TODAY.

The Army had suspended Camille Chidiac, co-owner of Leonie Industries, in May after he admitted to setting up disparaging social media and web sites against two journalists from the newspaper. At the time, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered “appropriate action” taken against Chidiac, according Pentagon press secretary George Little, who called his actions “intolerable.”

The Army reversed the suspension Nov. 15, allowing Chidiac to bid for new federal contracts, including an extension of the propaganda contract in January. The Army, in a statement from spokesman Matthew Bourke, decided that Chidiac should be reinstated because the Army concluded that he conducted the smear campaign on his own time without Leonie’s resources. Chidiac put his ownership stake in a trust in an agreement reached with the Army. That prompted the Army to lift its suspension of Chidiac, according to Bourke.

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Star Creeps: Petraeus & the Price of the Top-Heavy Pentagon

Ben Freeman – (POGO) – November 21, 2012 – In addition to extramarital affairs and “flirtatious e-mails,” the General Petraeus sex scandal highlighted another of the Pentagon’s dirty little secrets – generals live like billionaires, and taxpayers are footing the bill.

As the Washington Post reported on Saturday, these perks “befitting a billionaire,” include, “palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.”

Lavish perks bestowed to generals increase with higher ranks, as Raymond Dubois, former DoD director of Administration and Management from 2002 to 2005, told Air Force Times. “A four-star has an airplane. A three-star often doesn’t…Can a three-star get an airplane when he needs it? Not always. Does a four-star get an airplane when he needs it? Always. Many times he’ll already have a G5 sitting on the runway, gassed up. There are the kinds of costs that are fairly significant when you add them all up,” according to Dubois.

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Lockheed Martin Corporation Reaches $15.85 Million Settlement with U.S. to Resolve FCA Allegations

“It is troubling that a large defense contractor with long-established contractual ties with the United States failed to undertake appropriate measures to ensure the integrity and validity of the costs it submitted to the United States,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

U.S. Alleges Lockheed Subcontractor Inflated Costs for Military Aircraft Tools That Were Passed on to Government

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – March 23, 2012 – Lockheed Martin Corporation has agreed to pay $15,850,000 to settle allegations that it mischarged perishable tools used on numerous government contracts, the Department of Justice announced today.  Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is one of the world’s largest defense contractors.
 
Today’s settlement resolves allegations arising out of a pricing scheme by Tools & Metals Inc. (TMI), a subcontractor that sold perishable tools to Lockheed Martin for use on military aircraft, including the F-22 and the F-35 fighter jets.  Specifically, the allegations here are based on TMI’s inflating of the costs of these tools between 1998 and 2005.  The government alleged that Lockheed Martin passed these costs on to the United States under its various contracts with the government.  On Dec. 8, 2005, Todd B. Loftis, a former president of TMI, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison in connection with his role in TMI’s scheme.

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Private security contractors get a 3 month reprieve from suspension order in Afghanistan

Afghanistan extend private security firms closing deadline

Photo - Guardian UK

By GHANIZADA – (Khaama Press) – March 19, 2012 – Afghan interior ministry announced to delay forced cancellation of private security companies in Afghanistan by at least 3 months.

All the private security companies excluding those private security firms which provide security services to diplomatic installations and embassies in Afghanistan were supposed to be suspended by the end of the current Afghan year based on the pre-planned agreement.

But the Afghan security officials emphasized that the private security firms require more time to suspend their activities.

Noor Khan Haidari an official in the public security sector at the Afghan interior ministry said, majority of the private security firms provide escort security to NATO procurement convoys in the country.
Afghan security officials said the private security firms were allowed three months more time to transfer their responsibilities to Afghan security forces.

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