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Air Force Lifts Booz Allen Suspension, Contractor Admits to “Broader Systemic Ethical Deficiencies” and “Additional Improper Actions”

Neil Gordon – (POGO) – April 17, 2012 – On Friday, Booz Allen Hamilton announced that its San Antonio office was removed from the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) and regained full eligibility to compete for new federal contracts. Booz Allen entered into a three-year administrative agreement with the U.S. Air Force. We strongly encourage you to read the agreement, which contains several astonishing admissions about the company’s ethics environment and business practices.

POGO blog readers may remember that Booz Allen’s San Antonio office was proposed for debarment in February because, in April 2011, an employee at the office disseminated protected, non-public procurement information in apparent violation of the Procurement Integrity Act. On his first day of work, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Joselito Meneses shared with his co-workers sensitive pricing data he had obtained while at the Air Force that gave Booz Allen an unfair competitive advantage in an upcoming procurement. Meneses and four of the co-workers with whom he shared the data were also proposed for debarment. (A search of the EPLS today reveals that Meneses and two co-workers are still proposed for debarment. The other two employees’ suspensions were lifted in March.)

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Vanishing acts and other news

Tracking Gaddafi: The case against the Canadian accused of aiding a dictator’s son
Stewart Bell – (National Post) –  MEXICO CITY – March 24, 2012 –  When a dictatorship falls, the old regime takes flight.

And so when Colonel Muammar Gaddafi began losing his grip on Libya last year, a mixed bag of friends, allies and profiteers went to work planning exile for those close to him.

A town near Puerto Vallarta was the soft landing chosen for Saadi Gaddafi, the dictator’s hedonistic third son and head of the Libyan Special Forces. To get him there, according to Mexican officials, properties were purchased, planes were rented and passports were forged.

But if there was such a plot, it was a spectacular flop. Because instead of wading in the Pacific surf, Mr. Gaddafi ended up in Niger, a landlocked sandbox, while the Canadian, Dane and two Mexicans accused of orchestrating his escape are behind bars.

Because of Mexico’s closed legal system, few details of the case have been officially released. But documents obtained by the National Post reveal the events leading up to the arrests of Canadian Cynthia Vanier, who has denied the allegations, and her co-accused.

The paper trail identifies for the first time the international team of private security contractors that left Canada with Ms. Vanier last year in a small jet, destined for Col. Gaddafi’s collapsing capital. But it also raises doubts about the reliability of the evidence presented in court by Mexican authorities — in particular a central witness with a criminal past.

Aside from a stint negotiating for the release of hostages in Colombia, Ms. Vanier, a mediator from Mount Forest, Ont., had no apparent experience in war zones when she was hired to write a report on Libya, then five months into an armed revolt against its brutal, erratic dictator.

SNC-Lavalin, the Montreal-based engineering and construction company, said it contracted her “in the interest of the safety and security of our personnel and operations when we will need to go back to Libya to complete our projects.”

A chain of emails shows planning got underway on July 12, 2011. Gregory Gillispie, who runs a San Diego airplane brokerage, was asked by Loren Berenda, a former employee of U.S. security giant DynCorp, in Illinois, to find a jet to transport the Canadian and her entourage. (Click HERE for article)

Pressure Mounts for Transparency in Pfc. Manning’s Court-Martial
Adam Klasfeld – (Courthouse News) – MANHATTAN – March 22, 2012 – A lawyer from a civil libertarian group representing Wikileaks and Julian Assange urged a military judge to release records related to the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged source for the biggest leak in U.S. history.

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Air Force tightens fraud prevention effort

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Trojca)

As Air Force contracting professionals, we have an obligation to ensure our war fighters have what they need when they need it … at the best value for America’s taxpayers…~Maj. Gen. Wendy M. Masiello

 (UPI)  – WASHINGTON – December 19, 2011 – The U.S. Air Force reports it is coordinating efforts to prevent and mitigate procurement fraud and contractor misconduct.

The effort was expressed by the signing this month of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Air Force Contracting and Air Force General Council for Contractor Responsibilities.

“The Air Force has always been a leader in the procurement fraud fight and we are constantly enhancing our approach,” said David Robbins, the assistant deputy general counsel director of the Air Force Office of Procurement Fraud Remedies.

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Filling ‘er up on your dime & other news

$400 per gallon gasoline in Afghanistan

According to a recent Bloomberg report, a single agency within the Pentagon – the Defense Logistics Agency – wasted $7.1 billion over three years by double ordering parts. It would take 10 years of food stamp fraud to match that amount. Meanwhile, the government has squandered $60 billion on contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.

A food stamp crackdown is wise, but if the government wants to hang on to even more money and increase its credibility with taxpayers, it needs to cast a much wider net. ~ Cast wider net on fraud, waste in government – Spokesman-Review

Air Force will not inform families of landfill remains
Kevin Baron  – (National Journal) – December 9, 2011 – Responding to press revelations that the remains of hundreds of additional U.S. troops ended up in a landfill, an Air Force official said that the military regretted the pain the news may cause their families, but that the Pentagon would not inform them in order to honor their original wishes.

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Air Force dumped ashes of more troops’ remains in Va. landfill than acknowledged

If you aren’t enraged after reading the article, I honestly don’t know what to say to you.

The people who put it all on the line, put on the nation’s military colors, went into the worst of situations, and gave it body and soul for their country had portions of their remains dumped in a landfill. In case you’re confused, that is the exact same place where all of the stuff you put in a trash bag and at the curb once a week ends up. ~Rich Cooper, Dover’s Unconscionable Disrespect of Our Own

Craig Whitlock and Mary Pat Flaherty – (Washington Post) – December 7, 2011 – The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show.

The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now.

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