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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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Mark Adams & wife Latasha Bell indicted for USAID contractor fraud

Former Deputy Director of USAID Contractor and His Wife Accused of Embezzling More Than $1 Million Meant for Global Health

- Indicted on Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, Other Charges -

Mark-Anthony Elisha Adams, age 43, of Fort Washington, Maryland, held the position of Deputy Director at MasiMax Resources, Inc. MasiMax, a contractor to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), was acquired by RTI International in 2009 and has not existed as a separate entity since 2010. In 2011, RTI became aware of a possible subcontracting problem with MasiMax’s prime contract with USAID, and notified authorities. ~Nick Saunders – USAID Contractor Diverts Funds to Bogus Subcontractors

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON -  April 11, 2012 – Mark Adams, 43, a former deputy director at a private USAID contractor, and his wife, Latasha Bell, 36, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they stole more than $1 million from a program meant to address global health problems such as HIV/AIDS. Among other things, Adams and Bell are accused in the indictment of using the money to renovate their home and purchase two luxury cars worth over $110,000.

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McCaskill, Webb Introduce Wartime Contracting Legislation that Could Save Taxpayers Billions

NEIL GORDON and JAKE WIENS – (POGO) – March 1, 2012 – Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Jim Webb (D-VA) have introduced the Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act of 2012 (S. 2139), a bill that will greatly enhance transparency, sustainability, and accountability in overseas contingency operation contracting by the Department of Defense (DoD), the State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The bill is a response to the recommendations of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan (CWC), which submitted its final contingency contracting report to Congress in August.

Here’s a look at several of the good-government and contingency contracting reforms in the bill:

Inspectors General

The bill requires that the Chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) select one of three current Inspectors General (IG)—DoD IG, State IG, and USAID IG—to lead oversight of contingency operations. That IG would be responsible for resolving conflicts of jurisdiction between the IGs, authorizing the employment of temporary auditors and investigators, and submitting to Congress a bi-annual report containing detailed information about its activities and the activities of the agencies engaged in the contingency operation. The bill would improve oversight of contingency operations by IGs, but it is less ambitious than the CWC’s recommendation for a permanent IG for contingency operations. Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) has introduced legislation that is closer to the CWC’s recommendation.

Suspension and Debarment

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Hearing: Oversight in Iraq and Afghanistan: Challenges and Solutions

Gov’t Investigators Testify on Iraq & Afghanistan Rebuilding

Witnesses:
The Honorable Gordon S. Heddell
Inspector General
U.S. Department of Defense
(Click HERE for testimony PDF)

The Honorable Harold W. Geisel
Deputy Inspector General
U.S. Department of State
(Click HERE for testimony PDF)

Mr. Michael G. Carroll
Acting Inspector General
U.S. Agency for International Development
(Click HERE for testimony PDF)

Mr. Stuart W. Bowen
Inspector General
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
(Click HERE for testimony PDF)

Mr. Steven J. Trent
Acting Inspector General
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
(Click HERE for testimony PDF)

(C-Span) – Washington, DC – December 7, 2011 – A House Oversight subcommittee heard from the Inspectors General of the State Department, the Defense Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development – as they try to decide whether to create a special Inspector General position to oversee just overseas contracting in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Commission on Wartime Contracting, which was created by Congress in 2008, recently issued its final recommendations which included establishing the special IG position to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. (Click HERE for article)

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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