Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest: Senate to Hear Allegations of Contracting Abuse

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Senate to Review Misconduct Charges

A Senate panel today will review allegations of contracting abuse by a firm hired to provide security at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Lawmakers are expected to focus on several concerns, including the contractor's ability to provide proper security and the possibility that contracting employees violated human-trafficking laws by visiting nearby brothels, our colleague Ed O'Keefe reports.

ArmorGroup North America was awarded a five-year, $189.3 million contract in July 2007 by the State Department. Almost immediately, two employees raised concerns about the firm's ability to provide proper security, and a former employee last month brought other concerns to the attention of a Senate subcommittee on contracting oversight, which is holding the hearing at 2:30 p.m.

The panel has invited Wackenhut Services vice president Sam Brinkley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William H. Moser and Defense Security Service Director Kathleen M. Watson to appear.


-- Also examining contracting: The House oversight subcommittee on national security and foreign affairs holds a hearing on the interim findings of the Commission on Wartime Contracting. Four commissioners, including co-chairman Michael J. Thibault, testify. [Story, A7]

-- The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on "The Continued Importance of the Violence Against Women Act," with Catherine Pierce, acting director of the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women, actress Gabrielle Union and others.

-- Gather ye who shoot for the stars: At 10:30 a.m., a House Education and Labor subcommittee holds a hearing on "Examining the Single Payer Health Care Option," featuring Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School.

-- The Senate banking committee hears from White House director of recovery for auto communities Edward Montgomery and Treasury Department auto adviser Ron Bloom on the impact of federal assistance on the auto industry.

-- The House Foreign Affairs Committee hears "The Uighurs: A History of Persecution" at 9 a.m.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

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