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Government Clears CACI for Contracts

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CACI's role in interrogating Iraqi prisoners became known because one of its employees, Steven A. Stefanowicz, was named in an Army report on prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison. The report said Stefanowicz encouraged military police to "set conditions" for interrogations and that he "clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse." A lawyer for Stefanowicz has said his client did nothing wrong.

Neurauter's letter said the GSA investigated because it appeared that CACI had misused the GSA contract. Neurauter recounted a meeting at the agency's office, quoting London as saying the company was being "singled out unfairly" and that it is "unseemly for the Government to shift blame to contractors."

Neurauter maintained that contractors bear responsibility for upholding the agency's regulations and said in his letter to London that he still has "concerns about whether you understand that all parties to a transaction are responsible for ensuring that the rules are followed and the integrity of the system is maintained."

Neurauter also noted that CACI has three separate hotlines for reporting business improprieties. "Multiple hotlines, in contrast to a single unified hotline, is an usual approach in my experience," he wrote. "Has it caused any confusion among employees?"

CACI said yesterday that it will comply with GSA's requests for more information to "clearly convey its commitment to complying with all of the rules governing purchases by the U.S. Government."

The company still faces a number of investigations about its former employee's activities at Abu Ghraib, but GSA spokeswoman Mary Alice Johnson said her agency's focus was narrower.

"Our only goal is to ascertain whether or not the company is a responsible company,'' she said. "What this letter indicates is that this is a responsible company, but there are some areas that the suspension and debarment official would like to explore."

The company also responded yesterday to calls by California state Controller Steve Westly for the state's teachers pension fund to withdraw its investment in CACI.

"As a matter of common sense and common decency, companies looking to profit from the torture of human beings don't belong in our portfolio," Westly, who is on the board of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, said in a written statement Tuesday.

CACI rejected the claims and said in a written statement that Westly "is guilty of political grandstanding with vile and unsubstantiated accusations."

The retirement system's subcommittee on corporate governance discussed Westly's proposal yesterday and agreed to take a vote on it Sept. 1, said Paul Hefner, a spokesman for the controller.

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