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Defense procurement problems won’t go away

The Department of Defense (DoD) is taking a major step in stopping the waste of taxpayer dollars. POGO recently learned that DoD sent a legislative proposal to Congress to narrow the definition of a “commercial item” to mean goods or services that are actually sold to the general public in “like quantities.” This proposal is a huge improvement over the current definition, a broadly worded definition open to abuse because it includes good or services “of a type” that are “offered” for sale or lease

…Not surprisingly, the contracting industry is opposing DoD’s proposal, claiming that competition will suffer as certain companies won’t do business with the federal government because of stricter contracting rules… ~Scott Amey, General Counsel, POGO

Walter Pincus – (Washington Post) – May 2, 2012 – In June 1986, after a year-long investigation, then-President Ronald Reagan’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management — later known as the Packard Commission — filed a final report.

It was established to investigate Pentagon procurement after an enormous increase in defense spending and the discovery of the infamous $435 hammer and $600 toilet seat. The panel was chaired by David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., and deputy defense secretary in the Nixon administration.

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DoD, DoJ & DoS on Human Trafficking TIPs & tricks

Two recent press releases indicate that once again the DoD and the DoJ are standing on their collective soapboxes and taking a stand against human trafficking.

Excuse me while I yawn at their anemic attempts to truly combat this problem.

How many headlines have to hit the news? How many lawsuits have to be filed?  How many people have to come forward before they actually do something more than simply push paper and provide lip service on this issue?

Don’t even get me started on the DoS, whose annual reports admonishing foreign governments for their failures in mitigating the problem and yet they never touch on the fact that as the international “watchdog”  they keep hiring notorious contractors who create international incidents and embarrassments on a regular basis.    Not to mention the nefarious individuals who not only participate, promote or otherwise condone trafficking in persons of foreign national workers on government installations overseas and when they get a some time off from work they hop on a plane to head to the nearest brothel for a little sex tourism.

KBR's H- Site Managers John Reddy (Left); Gordon Wohlfeil (Center); Bruce Chirinko (Right) slamming shots in Thailand, more than likely at Reddy's Hotel/Bar the Towne Lodge

Speaking of the State Department I have unconfirmed reports from my readers that Bruce Chirinko, pictured left, is currently in Baghdad working on the LOGCAP IV project supporting the State Department.

When a contractor employee does take a stand for his foreign national workers, they are threatened by their managers such as KBR’s Mike Land.  For his efforts, Land received a letter of reprimand (pdf) from KBR, telling him that if he didn’t “refrain from further involvement regarding the working and living conditions of the sub-contract workers,” he could be fired.

Chirinko’s name has come up numerous times.  His signature is on the letter of reprimand (Project Manager), referenced above.  He has also been named in at least one lawsuit.

When I contacted the Towne Lodge, Chirinko’s name was given to me as a reference, along with several other high level KBR managers working on LOGCAP, including Michael Peck, who according to LinkedIn was “Corporate Legal Counsel-Baghdad and Middle East at KBR Middle East/Central Asia CSC”.

Here is an excerpt from a post I did in 2009:

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We want our $60 billion back!

After four years of fighting the good fight and spending countless hours at my computer documenting the rampant Fraud, Waste and Abuse of U.S. tax dollars in the hands of DoD contractors, I have submitted a petition on We the People.

We the People was set up by President Obama to take action on important issues facing our country.  I think lying and stealing from the taxpayer is an important issue.  Harming our troops in the name of profit is an important issue. I believe violating the FAR/DFAR is an important issue.  I think the powers that be, need to get off their collective asses and hold someone accountable.

If you agree with the contents of the petition, I ask that you please sign it. I believe MsSparky.com readers are as fed up and disgusted with this as I am.  If the petition meets the signature threshold of 25,000 signatures in 30 days,  it will be reviewed by the Administration and an official response will be issued.  Here is the link (Click HERE).

If you are not already registered with We The People, there is a VERY short registration required before you can sign or generate petitions. While you are there, please peruse the list of other petitions and sign those that are important to you and if you have an issue, by all means generate a petition. My petition is below:

We petition the Obama Administration to:

Enforce the law by prosecuting the corporations & criminals who have stolen $60 billion from the U.S. taxpayer

The Commission on Wartime Contracting estimates waste and fraud have amounted to as much as $60B during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense contractors have subjected US military personnel to substandard services, shoddy work and chemical exposure resulting in permanent injury and death.

While the Pentagon may deem egregious behavior as satisfactory and indemnify this negligence as a cost of doing business, we the people do not. We call upon our government to hold accountable the corporate entities and individuals responsible for the heinous acts committed against the citizens of the United States and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

War profiteering has never been so profitable for the wrongdoer and so dangerous for our troops and the taxpayer. (SIGN HERE)

We want out $60 Billion back! And if someone ended up going to jail for it, that would be nice too!

~Ms. Sparky

Encore performances for the DoJ & other news

Photo Courthouse News

…One protester heckled that the police had surrounded the building to arrest the people inside.
“Go for it, guys,” he urged. “The terrorists are inside.”
One officer smiled at that one… ~Occupiers Take Aim at Big Defense Conference

Imposter sentenced to 3 years for smuggling weapons, ammo onto MacDill
(WTSP) – Tampa, FL – December 1, 2011 – The man, caught smuggling weapons and ammunition onto MacDill Air Force Base while he was illegally living there in April 2010, was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday.

Back on July 21, Scott Allan Bennett, 40, was found guilty on all charges for lying to government officials to obtain housing on MacDill Air Force Base, as well as wearing a U.S. military uniform without authorization and violating a defense property security regulation with regard to firearms he had MacDill Air Force Base. (Click HERE for article)

Finmeccanica Chairman Resigns Amid Probe as Orsi Takes Job
Marco Bertacche & Sabine Pirone – (Bloomberg) – December 1, 2011 – Finmeccanica SpA Chairman Pier Francesco Guarguaglini resigned following Prime Minister Mario Monti’s call for the state-controlled company to swiftly address a corruption probe involving company executives.

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All I want for Christmas is a new IG & other news

Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell to Step Down on Christmas Eve
Nick Schwellenbach – (POGO) – November 26, 2011 – POGO got word this morning that Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) Gordon Heddell announced earlier this week that he will step down as IG on December 24, Christmas Eve. Heddell’s email announcing his upcoming resignation is posted below.

Heddell has had a challenging task. To say that the DoD is a bastion of questionable spending and is rife with secrecy would be understatements. But that would only begin to describe the oversight difficulties. It is essentially the only government department that is unauditable. Different whistleblower laws with different standards apply to civilians versus military personnel versus contractor personnel. The chaos of war makes fact-finding more difficult and more expensive to conduct. Plus, Heddell inherited an office that has been described by many insiders who’ve talked to me and others as a backbiting place. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is a bit of a colossus too: more than 1600 people worked in the OIG as of March of this year. (Click HERE for article)

Birmingham law firms praised for inspiring Bosnian sex-trade exposé The Whistleblower
By Graeme Brown – (Birmingham Post) – November 25, 2011 – Two West Midlands lawyers whose fight to expose a United Nations cover-up of the Bosnian sex trade was turned into a film have said it highlights the importance of pro-bono work which goes on in the region.

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