More investigations into State Department guard contract


The Wartime Contracting Commission is the latest body to announce it will investigate the State Department’s oversight of a controversial contract for private guard services in Afghanistan.

The congressionally chartered commission called a hearing for Sept. 14 in the wake of a Sept. 1 Project on Government Oversight letter to the department alleging employees of the private security contractor Armour Group North America engaged in lewd acts and hazed junior employees, compromising the security of U.S. diplomats at the embassy in Kabul.

The hearing will focus on “the underlying questions of what the State Department contract require[s]of contract-employee conduct, how thorough its contractor-selection process is, how contract performance is monitored, and how shortcomings are addressed,” Commission Co-chair Michael Thibault said.

Co-Chair Christopher Shays said federal departments need to ensure “contractors are doing thorough vetting, ensuring training and compliance with codes of conduct, and enforcing contract terms that represent the high ideals of America.”

Earlier in the week, the State Department announced POGO’s allegations had been forwarded to the department’s Inspector General for investigation. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who was already investigating the contractor, asked the department to provide more information on the incidents alleged by POGO.

In related news, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said eight guards have been fired in connection to the POGO allegations and another two guards resigned. In addition, Armour Group has replaced the senior managers overseeing the guards.


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