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The GAO Transcripts, Part 17: Use of PSC is Cost Prohibitive

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This is the seventeenth installment of the Government Accountability Office interview transcripts that were prepared pursuant to the July 2005 GAO report "Rebuilding Iraq: Actions Needed To Improve Use of Private Security Providers."

It is not clear from the transcript what government office is being interviewed here. But given that it supported all overseas operations it obviously played an important role.

Among the interesting revelations are that background checks are outsourced to a corporate security office. Even more interesting, someone in government disagreed with the near constant assertion by PSC supporters that using them is more cost effective than using government personnel as illustrated by this:

Under _____________ the Army is contractually required to provide force protection f _____________ To date, _____________ not had to supplement the security that the Army or Rangers provide with private security guards. Several months prior to the interview _____________ templated getting more protecti _____________ concerned that the force was getting smaller and would not have sufficient resources to provid _____________ adequate protection. Ultimately _____________ decided against it because it was cost prohibitive. In addition, , the government would have to indemnify it, further complicating matters.

Standard disclaimer: I have put in ( _____ ) to reflect those words of phrases which have been blacked out in the transcript. I have also put in the underlining as it appeared in the original transcript. As in the transcript, I have left out letters from various words, even when it seems obvious what the word is.

Prepared by: Kate Walker Index: Date Prepared: October 27, 2084 DOC Number: 1201624 Reviewed by: Carole Coffey DOC Library: Goal 2 Job Code: 350544 Record of Interview

Title Interview with _____________
Purpose To learn about _____________
Contact Method Face-to-face
Contact Place _____________
Contact Date August 12, 2004
Participants _____________ _____________ _____________
_____________ _____________ _____________
_____________ _____________ _____________
_____________ _____________ _____________
Steve Sternlieb, Assistant Director, GAO
Carole Coffey, Analyst-in-charge, GAO
Dave Grover, Senior Analyst, GAO
William McPhail, Senior Analyst, GAO
Kate Walker, Analyst, GAO

Comments/Remarks:
_____________ the _____________ in charge of the upport office for the _____________ contract.

_____________ SUPPORT OFFICE SERVICES

The _____________ upport Office supports all overseas operations. Currently, _____________ work in six countries: Uzbekistan, Djibouti, Georgia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq _____________ human resource (HR) employees recruit and process employee applications. Processing new employees takes 8-10 days and HR processes about 500-600 employees every week _____________ required by contract to perform background check on all of its employees. These background checks are outsourced to a corporate security office. _____________ quires that employees pass provide updated
medical physicals, passports, and training requirements.

PROJECT CONTROLS
_____________ ploys a number of resources to ensure that its projects are properly managed. In _____________ as a robust procurement office, a twenty-four hour operations center, a contract administration, and accounting and finance staff all dedicated to project management.

CONVOY MOVEMENT
Both _____________ mployees and supplies are transported in convoys. As of 19 July 2004, all _____________convoys are required to have:
1. One military platform (humvee, etc) for every five _____________ hicles
2. No more than 15 _____________ ehicles per convoy in order to keep the convoy short (The convoy standard used to be 25 _____________ ehicles.)
3. A military shooter on every third vehicle

Page 1 Record of Interview

_____________ has provided us with a copy of these convoy requirements. When crossing sector lines, force protection changes for supply and employee convoys; mail convoys have dedicated escorts and do not change between sectors. Army escorts can be the military police (MP). troops, combat arms, combat support (CS), or combat service support (CSS) units. _____________ reports that _____________ occasionally complain that they do not have combat arms escorting their convoys. But, he believes that this is just a grip and that CS and CSS units have provided sufficient force protection to date.

_____________ had to occasionally leave a vehicle behind if it is not usable. These vehicles are typically burned so that insurgents cannot use them. If a vehicle is burned while in protected convoy transport, _____________ can submit claims for reimbursement to the PCO. _____________ ust also submit a loss, damaged, or destroyed (LDD) report to the PCO, but it must be approved by to be government property.

_____________ transportation operations center at every location they have in theatre. _____________ vehicles are required to inform these transportation operations centers of their movement. Most _____________ vehicles have QualCom satellite systems that allow them to communicate with theatre transportation operation centers. _____________ vehicles also carry satellite phones. _____________ onvoys follow Army command. _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________
theatre. _____________ coordinates convoy movements with the commander in Kuwait and Anaconda in Iraq. He also works with _____________ _____________ Baghdad to coordinate movement.

_____________would like to see _____________ move away from ground transportation to air transportation.

CHAIN OF COMMAND
_____________ finds that there is no "security chain of command" in Iraq; program managers are the chain of command. _____________ is the _____________ Middle East and Asia. _____________ is the _____________ is located at the _____________ n Baghdad. _____________ has provided us with a matrix of the chain of command fo_____________ _____________ an addition to the lack of a security chain of Command _____________also believes that technical stove piping is also a problem.

FORCE PROTECTION AND SECURITY
Under _____________ the Army is contractually required to provide force protection f _____________ To date, _____________ not had to supplement the security that the Army or Rangers provide with private security guards. Several months prior to the interview _____________ templated getting more protecti _____________
concerned that the force was getting smaller and would not have sufficient resources to provid _____________ adequate protection. Ultimately _____________ decided against it because it was cost prohibitive. In addition, , the government would have to indemnify it, further complicating matters.

INTERNAL REPORTING
The government requires that _____________ provide them with after-incident reports, daily SITREP reports (including personnel status), the death of an employee, etc, _____________ provided us with copies of some of the after-incident reports. Nearly five to ten after-incident reports are written daily. These reports go to the ACO and the PCO. Convoy incident reports initiated from theatre transportation are immediately sent to_____________ Baghdad where they are

Page 2 Record of interview

dispersed. The convoy commander writes a more detailed report after the conclusion of the convoy. Reports about mortar incidents are reported to an element on the camp.

SUGGESTIONS
Overall , _____________ elieves that s a good relationship with the military. He believes that the reserves and national units do a good job and does not think that the soldiers leave anything to want _____________ did suggest that the military acquire better technology to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He did say, however, that _____________ vesting in its own hard vehicles, ballistic blankets, helmets, and vests.


Page 3 Record of Interview

 
 
 

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