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Foiled by FOIA and other news

Many western multinational companies have been indicted for paying bribes to Nigerian government officials to secure contracts running into billions of dollars. One of the high profile cases involved former US vice president, Dick Cheney. He was head of the American oilfield services company, Halliburton when its engineering subsidiary, KBR, allegedly paid bribes totaling 180 million dollars to secure contracts worth six billion dollars. Nigerian authorities dropped corruption charges against him after Halliburton agreed to pay a 250 million dollar fine. But anti-corruption campaigners say the settlement is illegal. One of them has gone to court in an effort to make the former US vice president face trial. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos. ~Free Speech Radio News – September 23, 2011

FOIA Friday: Was the Military the Victim of a War Profiteer Fuel Supplier?
NEIL GORDON – POGO – September 23, 2011 – Last March, the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) released an audit of contracts for the delivery of fuel to U.S. troops in Iraq. Only a summary of the report’s findings has been made available to the public. Yesterday, POGO received the full report (with redactions). DoDIG’s website still promises that the report will be made publicly available “at a later date.”

The DoDIG conducted the audit in response to concerns former House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) had about the competitiveness and prices paid under fuel supply contracts awarded to the International Oil Trading Company (IOTC). In October 2008, Waxman wrote to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that IOTC “appears to have engaged in a reprehensible form of war profiteering” and may have overcharged the government as much as $180 million to deliver fuel to troops in Iraq.

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Contractor settles False Claims at Ft. Bliss Army Base

 “This resolution demonstrates that the Department will vigorously pursue government contractors who overcharge on their contracts California Firm to Pay U.S. $400,000 to Resolve False Claims…

~ Tony West,  Attorney General Civil Division

…“This clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to rooting out fraud, large or small, in the Department of the Army and that our commitment is stronger than ever.”

~ James Podolak, director of the Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit

Does this mean that the Department of Justice & CID are finally going to grow a set and start prosecuting the contractors engaging in criminal activity, including fraud?  We’re still waiting…  ~ Forseti

Firm Employed Disabled Workers at Fort Bliss, Texas, Under Federal Program
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – July 11, 2011 – PRIDE Industries, and its subsidiary, PRIDE Industries One, has agreed to pay the United States $400,000 to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted false claims relating to a contract to provide maintenance services at the Department of the Army’s Ft. Bliss Army Base in El Paso, Texas, the Justice Department announced today.

The maintenance contract at Ft. Bliss is part of the AbilityOne Program, which procures contracts for goods or services in order to provide employment opportunities to people who are blind or have other significant disabilities.   Under this mandatory source program managed by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, a federal agency, contractors must ensure that 75 percent of all direct labor hours are performed by severely disabled employees.   Between 2007 and 2010, PRIDE, which is based in Roseville, Calif., employed a large number of temporary, non-disabled employees as part of its maintenance staff but did not count their hours as part of its overall ratio.   Accordingly, PRIDE reported false ratio numbers to NISH, the central nonprofit agency designated by the committee to help oversee the AbilityOne Program, as well as to the committee itself.

In addition, PRIDE overcharged the Department of the Army under its maintenance contract by adding unallowable costs and charging too much for labor.

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