To phase out the use of private military contractors.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
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Mr. SANDERS introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on _________
To phase out the use of private military contractors.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Stop Outsourcing Security Act’’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The United States Government is increasingly relying on armed private security contractors to perform mission-critical and emergency essential functions that historically have been performed by United States military or Government personnel.
(2) In August 2008, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that there were approximately 190,000 contractors operating in Iraq, and between 25,000 and 30,000 of these were private security contractors.
(3) As of September 2009, the Department of Defense had approximately 218,000 contract employees operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, as compared to 195,000 members of the United States Armed Forces operating in these two theaters of war.
(4) As of June 2009, the Department of Defense had deployed over 13,000 armed private security contractors in Iraq and over 5,000 in Afghanistan, an increase from 10,743 and 4,111, respectively, in March 2009.
(5) As of February 28, 2009, the Department of State used 3,321 armed private security contractors in Iraq and 689 in Afghanistan.
(6) In September 2009, photos surfaced showing individuals hired by Armor Group
North America, which was awarded a contract by the Department of State to provide security at the United States embassy in Kabul, engaging in lewd and drunken sexual conduct and hazing.
(7) There is evidence that Armor Group
North America, and its parent company Wackenhut Services, had previously ignored repeated reports of misconduct by its employees in Kabul.
(8) The Department of State issued numerous formal notices to Armor Group
North America regarding performance deficiencies, and in March 8 2009 wrote to the company expressing ‘‘grave concern’’ about the short-staffing of guard posts.
(9) In May 2009, four men employed as military trainers for Paravant LLC, a Blackwater affiliate, fired on a civilian vehicle in Kabul, killing one
Afghan and wounding two others.
(10) On September 16, 2007, individuals hired by the company then known as Blackwater USA opened fire on Baghdad’s Nisour Square, killing 17 Iraqis and wounding at least 20 others.
(11) A Federal judge dismissed criminal charges against the Blackwater contractors involved in the Nisour Square shooting after finding that Federal prosecutors misused evidence, a decision that has been appealed by the Department of Justice.
(12) On October 18, 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the work of many contractors in Iraq is ‘‘at cross-purposes to our larger mission in Iraq,’’ and that ‘‘right now those missions are in conflict’’.
(13) On Christmas Eve 2006, Blackwater contractor Andrew Moonen, while drunk, shot and killed a guard to Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi in the Green Zone, and though Mr. Moonen lost his job with Blackwater as a result of this incident, he was promptly hired by Combat Support Associates, another Department of Defense contractor, and sent to work in Kuwait.
(14) In the wake of the 2004 killing of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, the families of the men killed filed a civil suit against the company, alleging that Blackwater failed to properly equip and man its armored vehicles.
(15) Xe Services, LLC, the company formerly known as Blackwater, has also faced allegations of weapons smuggling and improperly licensing firearms.
(16) In 2007, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives investigated Blackwater’s employment practices and found that the company’s classification of its security guards may have allowed the firm to avoid paying Social Security, Medicare, and Federal income and employment taxes.
(17) In response to a request from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration investigated Blackwater in 2008 and found that the company may have misrepresented its small business status, enabling it to qualify for $110,000,000 in government contracts set aside specifically for small businesses.
(18) Signed affidavits have been filed in a civil lawsuit against Blackwater that company founder Erik Prince views himself ‘‘as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe’’, that he knowingly deployed ‘‘demonstrably unfit men’’ to Iraq, and that he used illegal ammunition, including a bullet designed to explode after entering the human body, among other charges.
(19) In November 2007, a contractor employed by Dyn Corp
International, LLC, reportedly shot and killed an unarmed taxi driver who, according to witnesses, posed no threat to the Dyn Corp
(20) A January 2007 report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction stated that Dyn Corp
billed the United States for millions of dollars of work that was never authorized.
(21) In October 2007, an audit report issued by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction stated that the Department of State ‘‘does not know specifically what it received for most of the $1,200,000,000 in expenditures under its Dyn Corp
Contract for the Iraqi Police Training Program’’.
(22) Congress does not have complete access to information about all security contracts, the number of armed private security contractors working in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zones, the number of contractors who have died, and any disciplinary actions taken against contract personnel or companies.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) MISSION CRITICAL OR EMERGENCY ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS.—The term ‘‘mission critical or emergency essential functions’’—
(i) activities for which continued performance is considered essential to support combat systems and operational activities;
(ii) activities whose delay, absence, or failure of performance would significantly affect the broader success or failure of a military operation; and
(i) the provision of protective services;
(ii) the provision of security advice and planning;
(iii) military and police training;
(iv) repair and maintenance for weapons systems;
(v) prison administration;
(vi) interrogation; and
(2) SPECIFIED CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term ‘‘specified congressional committees’’ means the following committees:
(A) The Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Committee on Appropriations, the
Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.
(B) The Committees on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
SEC. 4. REQUIREMENT FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL TO PERFORM DIPLOMATIC SECURITY IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall ensure that all personnel at any United States diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq or Afghanistan are provided security services only by United States Government personnel.
SEC. 5. REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO CONTRACTORS PERFORMING MISSION CRITICAL OR EMERGENCY ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS IN ALL CONFLICT ZONES IN WHICH CONGRESS HAS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF FORCE.
(a) REPORT BY PRESIDENT.—
(1) REQUIREMENT.—Not later than June 1, 2010, the President shall submit to the specified congressional committees a report on the status of planning for the transition away from the use of private contractors for mission critical or emergency essential functions by January 1, 2011, in all conflict zones in which Congress has authorized the use of force.
(2) ADDITIONAL MATTERS COVERED.—If the report submitted under paragraph (1) states that the relevant agencies will not be able to transition to government and military personnel for such functions by January 1, 2011, the President shall include in the report the following:
(A) A statement of the reasons why the relevant agencies are unable to do so, the date by which they will be able to do so, and the plan to ensure that they will be able to do so by that date.
(B) A certification that—
(i) all contract employees have undergone background checks to ensure that they do not have criminal records and have not been accused of human rights abuses;
(ii) no contract employees are subject to pending criminal charges;
(iii) all contract employees are under the jurisdiction of section 3261 of title 18, United States Code (relating to military extraterritorial jurisdiction);
(iv) contract employees, if accused of crimes by the host country, must remain in United States custody; and
(v) contracts include whistleblower protections for employees to provide good faith information to management, government agencies, and Congress of any contract violations, human rights abuses, or criminal actions.
(3) FORM OF REPORT.—The report required by this subsection shall be submitted in unclassified form, to the maximum extent possible, but may contain a classified annex, if necessary.
(b) EXAMINATION OF CONTRACTOR ACCOUNTING PRACTICES.—Any individual or entity under contract with the Federal Government to provide mission critical or emergency essential functions after January 1, 2011, shall allow the specified congressional committees to examine their accounting practices with respect to any such contract quarterly and upon request.
(c) REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO CONTRACT RENEWALS.—Any contract with the Federal Government requiring personnel to perform mission critical or emergency essential functions that is proposed to be renewed after the date of the enactment of this Act may be renewed only
(1) the President reports to the specified congressional committees that the relevant agency does not have adequate personnel to perform the duties stipulated in the contract; and
(2) the President certifies that—
(A) all contract employees have undergone background checks to ensure that they do not have criminal records and have not been accused of human rights abuses;
(B) no contract employees are subject to pending criminal charges;
(C) all contract employees are under the jurisdiction of section 3261 of title 18, United States Code (relating to military extraterritorial jurisdiction);
(D) contract employees, if accused of crimes by the host country, must remain in the custody of the United States; and
(E) the contract includes whistleblower protections for employees to provide good faith information to management, government agencies, and Congress of any contract violations, human rights abuses, or criminal actions.
SEC. 6. CONGRESSIONAL ACCESS TO CONTRACTS.
(a) REQUIREMENT TO ALLOW CONGRESS ACCESS TO COPIES AND DESCRIPTIONS OF CONTRACTS AND TASK ORDERS IN EXCESS OF $5,000,000 FOR WORK TO BE PERFORMED IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.—
(1) REQUIREMENT REGARDING CONTRACTS AND TASK ORDERS BEFORE ENACTMENT.
—The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall allow the chairman and the ranking minority member of each specified congressional committee
access to a copy of, and a description of the work performed or to be performed under, each contract, and each task order issued under an existing contract, in an amount greater than $5,000,000 entered into by the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, and the Agency for International Development, respectively, during the period beginning on October 1, 2001, and ending on the last day of the month during which this Act is enacted for work to be performed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(2) FORM OF SUBMISSIONS.—The copies and descriptions required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, to the maximum extent possible, but may contain a classified annex, if necessary.
(b) REPORTS ON IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN CONTRACTS.—The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall each submit to each specified congressional committee a report not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act that contains the following information:
(1) The number of persons performing work in Iraq and Afghanistan under contracts (and subcontracts at any tier) entered into by Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, and the United States Agency for International Development, respectively.
(2) The total cost of such contracts.
(3) The total number of persons who have been wounded or killed in performing work under such contracts.
(4) A description of the disciplinary actions that have been taken against persons performing work under such contracts by the contractor, the United States Government, or the Government of Iraq or Afghanistan.
Congressman David Price (NC) will not sign on to the SOS Act because he says he is reluctant to endorse a complete ban on contractors performing any security-related functions whatsoever. In his view, what is needed is a serious and thorough effort on the part of Congress and the major federal contracting agencies (Do D
, State, etc.) to delineate those functions that can reasonably be privatized from those that should be performed by government personnel. Absent this debate, he says, imposing a blanket ban that includes activities such as repair and maintenance and consulting services (as H.R. 4650 would allegedly do) might not only be unrealistic in the short term, but could also put additional strain on our military at a time when it is already stretched very thin.
Furthermore, he says that in the current Congress, he is the cosponsor of three bills that would address various aspects of the issue: the Transparency and Accountability in Security Contracting Act (TASCA, or H.R. 2177); the Transparency and Accountability in Intelligence Contracting Act (H.R. 963); and, most recently, the Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA, or H.R. 4567), which is an updated version of the MEJA Expansion Act (H.R. 2740) that was approved by the House in the last Congress. Among these, he says his TASCA and TAICA bills would prohibit contractors from engaging directly in combat operations or performing interrogations, among other things.