It’s not just Blackwater! Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has another State Department security contractor in his sights — industry pioneer DynCorp, which, in addition to guarding diplomats in northern Iraq, has reaped over $1 billion from State since 2004 to help train the Iraqi police.
Corruption and mismanagement in the Iraqi police is an old story. The U.S.’s special inspector general for Iraq, Stuart Bowen, told Waxman’s House oversight committee earlier this year that DynCorp had significantly overbilled the State Department. But the extent of the misconduct is unknown: department officials have failed for months to provide documentation about the origins and terms of the contract to the committee, despite numerous promises. Making matters even fishier, State representatives told Waxman’s staff that a single official handles all DynCorp contracts with the department and has for a decade — far longer than is typical in agency-contractor relationships.
Waxman wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today to remind her that the committee wants the documents on the DynCorp contract that the department promised it in May. There’s an urgency here: last month, a commission headed by Marine General James Jones found the Iraqi police in serious disarray.
Full text of the letter after the jump.
Dear Madam Secretary:
I have serious concerns about the State Departmentâs apparent mismanagement of a key program to train Iraqi police forces. Since 2004, the Department has spent over $1 billion on a contract with DynCorp International to train the Iraqi police under the âCivPolâ program. But when the Oversight Committee sought basic information about how this money had been spent, the Committee was told that the Department âcould not locate the contract file.â
The CivPol program is the State Departmentâs program to provide Iraq and other nations with training for their civilian police forces. The CivPol program is managed by the Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law within the State Departmentâs Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Under this program, the State Department has entered into a series of task orders with DynCorp for police training in Iraq. Collectively, these task orders have exceeded $1 billion since 2004.
Questions about the State Departmentâs management of the CivPol contract were raised by Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, at a February 15, 2007, hearing before the Oversight Committee. Mr. Bowen testified that DynCorp had performed unauthorized work at a residential camp for police trainers and that the State Department had failed to catch overcharges because of inadequate contractor management. Mr. Bowen told the Committee: the âsystem that we have set up depends on an effective contracting officer’s representative exerting oversight of how the money is spent under a contract; that did not happen in this case.â
Following the February 15 hearing, Committee staff requested a briefing from State Department officials to discuss the State Departmentâs management and oversight of this program. During this briefing, which was held on March 5, State Department officials informed Committee staff that the Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law, which manages the CivPol program, was in such disarray that they âcould not locate the contract fileâ for this billion-dollar contract.
State Department officials also informed Committee staff that a single State Department Contract Officer Representative has been overseeing DynCorp contracts for over a decade, significantly longer than the Department typically allows a single official to oversee a government contractor. State Department officials reported that it was this officialâs responsibility to maintain the contract file, and that he remained the head of the Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law, despite his failure to maintain basic and critical information about the contractors under his management.
After this briefing, the Committee sent you a letter on March 22, 2007, requesting a host of documents relating to the CivPol program. In particular, the Committee requested âaudits of proposals, billings, confirmation of receipt of goods and services of all contracts and subcontracts with DynCorp, â¦ [r]eviews, assessments, or other analyses of DynCorpâs performance as a State Department contractor or subcontractor, including analyses of inventory management, subcontractor management, asset management, and all other business systems,â and all e-mails to or from the Contract Officer Representative who was in charge of overseeing the CivPol contract. The Committee requested these documents by March 30, 2007.
On May 23, 2007, the State Department delivered a small number of documents in response to the Committeeâs request. This production did not include any of the contract documents that were requested. It also did not include any documents from INL or the Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law.
Committee staff have made repeated attempts to follow-up with State Department officials regarding the status of the Departmentâs efforts to comply with the Committeeâs request. Since March, Committee staff have inquired over a dozen times about the status of the DynCorp request. In response, State Department officials have made repeated assurances that documents responding to the Committeeâs request will be forthcoming. On May 22 â now over five months ago â a State Department official informed Committee staff that the âprocessing office â¦ has already received thousands of pages more of potentially responsive documents â¦ and is preparing the second of multiple tranches.â
These documents, however, have never been delivered.
I am writing again today to renew my request for information the Committee originally sought more than seven months ago. The police training program is a critical component of the Administrationâs efforts to bring stability to Iraq. It is a matter of serious concern that this critical initiative appears to have been so poorly managed.
I ask that you provide all documents requested in the Committeeâs letter of March 22, 2007, as soon as possible, but in no case later than Friday, November 2. If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me or ask your staff to contact Christopher Davis or Theodore Chuang with the Committee staff at (202) 225-5420.
Henry A. Waxman