The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in his recent quarterly report to Congress that he is "deeply disturbed" that the United States Army has chosen not to suspend its contracts with 43 companies suspected of supporting terrorism in order to protect their "due process rights."
"I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract," John F. Sopko, an Obama appointee, wrote.
Read the complete passage below:
In conclusion, I would also like to reiterate the concerns I raised in our last report about the Army’s refusal to act on SIGAR’s recommendations to prevent supporters of the insurgency, including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda, from receiving government contracts. SIGAR referred 43 such cases to the Army recommending suspension and debarment, based on detailed supporting information demonstrating that these individuals and companies are providing material support to the insurgency in Afghanistan. But the Army rejected all 43 cases. The Army Suspension and Debarment Office appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due process rights if based on classified information or if based on findings by the Department of Commerce.
I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract. I feel such a position is not only legally wrong, it is contrary to good public policy and contrary to our national security goals in Afghanistan. I continue to urge you to change this faulty policy and enforce the rule of common sense in the Army’s suspension and debarment program. [Emphasis added]
According to Reuters, SIGAR didn't name the companies in question, but said that more than $150 million is "involved."
A U.S. Army spokesperson has commented: "The Army Procurement Fraud Branch did receive and review the 43 recommendations late last year, but the report did not include enough supporting evidence to initiate suspension and debarment under Federal Acquisition Regulations."
(H/T: Fox News)