Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



US Military In Iraq Demands Return Of All Contractor Passports

Poor quality living standards are serious issues in Iraq. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Apr 25, 2006
The U.S. military in Iraq has demanded that the passports of all employees of contractors and subcontractors serving the military in Iraq be returned to them by May 1. It is also insisting that the thousands of civilian workers in Iraq and Afghanistan are given at least 50 square feet of personal living space per person.

"The right of freedom of movement and quality living standards are serious issues; [Multi-National Force Iraq] takes a zero tolerance approach to any violation," states an April 19 memo from the Joint Contracting Command in Baghdad.

An inspection by the Multi-National Forces Iraq inspector general revealed a widespread practice of confiscating employee passports by contractors and subcontractors for the term of employment.

It was meant to prevent employees -- most of them "third-country nationals" from low-paying and poorly policed labor markets in Africa and Asia -- from "jumping" to other employers in Iraq and Afghanistan for better pay or living conditions.

Most of the workers are employed under the $13 billion LOGCAP contract awarded to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, which in turn subcontracts out much of the work to other companies.

Because of the size of the LOGCAP contract, KBR has been under pressure to reduce the cost of services to the military, according to industry officials.

"Increasing expenditures in theater ... jeopardize our ability to maintain public support as the costs associated with our operations continue to rise," wrote Gen. George Casey, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, in a memo issued last summer and exclusively reported by UPI.

One of the few areas with flexibility in cost is the labor. Companies competing for KBR subcontracts routinely shop the world for the lowest-paid workers to fill positions at U.S. facilities -- cooking, cleaning and maintaining the physical infrastructure of the bases for 140,000 U.S. service members.

In some cases, workers are paid a pittance by Western standards. UPI reported in December that some food service employees from Sierra Leone were paid less than 50 cents an hour for their year-long contract. The workers were contractually prohibited from discussing the terms of their contract and their pay with outsiders but UPI obtained a copy of the employment contract.

The MNF-I inspection also revealed "deceptive hiring practices and excessive recruiting fees, substandard worker living conditions at some sites; circumvention of Iraqi immigration procedures by contractors/subcontractors, lack of mandatory trafficking in persons awareness training," according to an April "FRAGO" order to the military. Both documents were obtained by David Phinney, a journalist with Corpwatch.

A Sierra Leone worker told UPI he had been promised an American visa by the recruiter if he accepted the job in Iraq. No such arrangements were made.

"All contractors engaging in this practice who have contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan are directed to cease and desist in this practice immediately. All passports are to be returned to employees by May 1," states the April 19 memo.

The MNF-I inspector general will conduct a second round of inspections in the next three months to ensure compliance with the order.

If passports are not returned to employees and adequate living space provided, the U.S. military may terminate or suspend contracts, bar contractors from competing for future work, or give a negative past performance evaluation, which is supposed to diminish the chances of future contracts. The U.S. military can also bar and contractor in violation of the orders from setting foot on a military installation.

The memos state that future contracts with the U.S. military will include provisions allowing the U.S. government to terminate the contract without penalty if there is a violation of these laws.

It will also require that all workers be furnished a signed copy of their contracts, and will prohibit unlicensed recruiting firms or recruiting firms that charge an unreasonable recruiting fee to workers from working with the U.S. military in Iraq.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
-

Lessons From Iraq Are Critical To Future Planning
Washington (UPI) Apr 25, 2006
As recognition of the U.S. defeat in Iraq spreads, so also does the process of sweeping up the debris. Both civilian observers and a few voices inside the military have begun the "lessons learned" business, trying to figure out what led to our defeat so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. That is the homage we owe to this war's dead and wounded. To the degree we do learn important lessons, they will not have suffered in vain, even though we lost the war.







  • Bush And Putin Fail To Agree To Disagree
  • US Military Illiteracy Serves No Good
  • US Military Shift To The Pacific A 'Hedge' Against China
  • US Military Shift To The Pacific A 'Hedge' Against China

  • Ahmadinejad Defies UN On Iranian Nuclear Push
  • UN Security Council To Mull Chapter 7 Resolution On Iran
  • Rumsfeld Say Iraq And Afghan Missions Key To Containing Iran
  • Rice Concerned Over Iranian Diplomat In United States

  • MBDA And Raytheon Offer Anti-Aircraft Missiles For Estonia
  • Raytheon Awarded Contract For Patriot Upgrades
  • India Fighter Jets To Launch Supersonic Cruise Missiles
  • US Navy Awards LockMart Contract For Mk 41 Aegis Destroyers VLS

  • Israel's Next ABM Shield
  • LM Team Launches Payload For MDA's Critical Measurements/Countermeasures Program
  • Taiwan Facing Multiple ABM Vulnerabiities
  • Raytheon Awarded Early Warning Radar Upgrade Contract At Thule

  • Test Pilot Crossfield Killed In Private Plane Crash
  • Aerospace Industry Slow To Embrace New MEMS Technologies
  • BAE Systems To Sell Airbus Stake, EADS Likely Buyers
  • DaimlerChrysler And Lagardere Cut Stake In EADS

  • AFRL Proves Feasibility Of Plasma Actuators
  • Northrop Grumman Opens Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Production Center In Mississippi
  • Arotech Receives Battery Development Contract From Leading UAV Supplier
  • Unmmaned Drones Slated To Replace U-2

  • Iraq Air Force Needs More Than New Coat Of Paint
  • US Military In Iraq Demands Return Of All Contractor Passports
  • US Intel CIO Defends Infomation Sharing Efforts
  • Lessons From Iraq Are Critical To Future Planning

  • DRS Receives $26M US Army Contract For Long Range Advanced Surveillance Systems
  • Raytheon Completes 3-for-3 Firings Of Precision Guidance Kit Solution
  • Raytheon Awarded $144M Small Diameter Bomb II Risk Reduction Contract
  • Russian Bombers Flew Undetected Across Arctic

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement