Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inside Afghanistan...

Official Says Contractor in Kabul May Be Ousted
By GINGER THOMPSON, New York Times, September 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — The State Department official responsible for overseeing private contracts said Monday that the government was seriously considering terminating its $189 million arrangement with ArmorGroup North America because of recent disclosures of misbehavior by guards at the United States Embassy in Afghanistan.

At a hearing before a federal commission investigating wartime spending, Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management, said ArmorGroup managers had failed to notify the government about parties in which drunken, half-naked guards had urinated on and groped one another.

In response to commission members’ demands that the company be held accountable, Mr. Kennedy said, “We are seeing a very, very serious case being made for termination.”

Mr. Kennedy spoke at a hearing of the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan that was scheduled after a nonprofit oversight group released photographs two weeks ago of the ArmorGroup bacchanals. Those photos led to a State Department investigation and the firing of several ArmorGroup managers.

“It’s a no-brainer — that conduct was appalling,” Mr. Kennedy said. “And the failure on the part of the ArmorGroup managers to stop it caused us to ask for their removal.”

For complete article, click here

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