DynCorp Facing State Dept. Investigation
Contractor Ordered to Shake Up Team in Afghanistan After Employee’s Death
By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The State Department has ordered DynCorp International to replace the senior managers in charge of a major police training contract in Afghanistan after it launched an investigation into the company’s handling of an employee who died of a possible drug overdose, government officials said.
The probe involves allegations that the company ignored signs of drug abuse among employees.
The investigation centers on the death of a security team leader working under DynCorp’s 18-month, $317 million civilian police training contract, a key element of the U.S. government’s effort to rebuild Afghanistan in the wake of the 2001 removal of the Taliban from power.
DynCorp is the State Department’s largest contractor, holding billions of dollars in contracts, and the department is the Falls Church-based firm’s single largest customer. The department ordered the company to put in new managers to ensure accountability, officials said.
“The State Department takes these allegations of contractor misconduct extremely seriously, expects all contractors to adhere to a zero-tolerance policy for individual misconduct, and insists that management act accordingly when violations occur,” acting State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.
Contrast that “expects all contractors to adhere to a zero-tolerance policy for individual misconduct,” with the following, issued four years and two months after another State Department ‘contractor’ went nuts and machine-gunned Iraqi civilians.
(Federal Times, April 2, 2009) The top security official at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq refused to punish Blackwater security guards for making false statements about an unjustified 2005 shooting in Baghdad because he didn’t want to lower the morale of those contracted to work security, according to newly released State Department records.
Of course that was in the bad old days of another administration and I suppose we ought to be grateful for a change of heart over at State. As they say, Mr. Wood, better late than . . . whatever. . .