New Measure Targets Private Military Contractors For Inspection Entity

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 15-Nov-2011

A new report released by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has highlighted an examination of proposed fraud, wasted finances and civilian contractor abuse that has taken place while contractors supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By March 31, 2010, as many as 260,000 contractors provided support to military members in Iraq and Afghanistan, displaying the reliance on theprivate military contractors throughout war efforts.

In contrast with the high cost of expanding a military force, private military contractors represent a more financially feasible method of supporting extensive wars. While overseas contractors represent a much cheaper way of offering support, the management of contractors and overseeing operations can be tricky, leaving room for mistreatment, inadequate benefits and fraud among the corporations overseeing and providing contractor employees.

Despite the cost effectiveness of hiring civilian contractors for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, new reports have shown waste and mistreatment as well as inadequate performance that have led to injury and death for some military and contractors alike.

In one particular instance of the negligence of a contracting company overseas, a marine in Fallujah was electrocuted while installing a wiring box at the nearby military base. The failure of a generator on the base kept a tank ramp from operating properly, provoking the marine to attempt to install a wiring box, hooking it to their generator. KBR Inc. contractors turned on the generator’s power while the marine was working on the wiring, electrocuting and injuring him. The marine sued KBR Inc., alleging their negligence as the cause of the accident.

The marine noted that, “Any company over there making the kind of money they’re making should use the utmost standard of care, which we don’t believe was being used in this case,” he said.

According to the suit “KBR’s main electrical generator at Camp Fallujah was frequently malfunctioning or not functioning resulting in the armed service personnel at a critical forward operating base to be without electrical power.”

Faulty electric work has plagued KBR Inc. throughout various operations while employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing support for military operations. In 2007, a Navy corpsman, deployed to Iraq, suffered burns when KBR Inc. contractors mistakenly turned on a generator.

Because of inadequate tracking, measurement and lack of control over contracting companies and associated employees, a new measure has been proposed that would create an entity specifically for overseeing and inspecting overseas contractor operations.


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