Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Togo : will president Faure Gnassingbe win a third 5-year term ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Controversy reigns 100 years after the Armenian genocide

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Migrant Deaths: Politicians Divided after Emergency EU Summit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The G-Word: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

What will the new French healthcare bill change?

Read more

#TECH 24

Space Special: Happy Birthday, Hubble!

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Meeting Marseille's Armenian community

Read more

REPORTERS

Saving French soldiers' WWI trench carvings

Read more

ENCORE!

Armenia, 100 years on

Read more

Americas

Govt has no precise number for contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-03

The US government has no exact figure for how many contractors are employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, inviting the risk of fraud and security threats, a US commission has warned.

AFP - The US government has no precise figure for how many contractors are employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, inviting the risk of fraud and security threats, a US commission warned on Monday.
  
"It is both peculiar and troubling that eight years after the overthrow of the Taliban regime, in Afghanistan, and more than six years since the overthrow of Baathist regime in Iraq, we still don't know how many contractor employees are working in the region," said Michael Thibault, co-chairman of the commission on wartime contracting.
  
The independent commission found that "there is no single source for a clear, complete and accurate picture of contractor numbers, locations, contracts and cost," Thibault said at a commission hearing.
  
"How can contractors be properly managed if we aren't sure how many there are, where they are and what are they doing?"
  
The Pentagon had a data base for contractors but it did not take into account the large number of foreign nationals performing contract work, while a data base kept by US Central Command did not count employees with the State Department, he said.
  
The Pentagon in April counted about 160,000 contractors mainly in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait but Central Command recorded more than 242,000 contractors a month earlier, he said.
  
The lack of precise numbers for contractors "permits and invites waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money and undermines the achievement of US mission objectives," he said.
  
The problem also raises concerns over security, he said.
  
Although most contractors were doing valuable work, often at personal risk, Thibault said "it takes only one foreign national contractor employee smuggling explosives into a dining facility, headquarters, hospital or barracks to create a mass casualty disaster," he said.
  
The bipartisan commission on wartime contracting was created last year by Congress to examine government contracting for reconstruction, logistics and security operations and to recommend reforms.
  

Date created : 2009-11-03

  • USA

    Obama holds 'productive' meeting on Afghanistan strategy

    Read more

COMMENT(S)