Understand the Power of the Office The role of the U.S. inspector general was first created in 1776 when then-General George Washington employed a speciallyappointed overseer to examine and manage the discipline and combat readiness of the armed forces. [...] Congress expanded the mission of this office by establishing independent inspectors general within a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of State, and USAID.
insight| inspectors-general David M. Verhey Expecting Inspection Inspectors-General in Afghanistan: Key Considerations for Private Security Contractors 29 The sun is setting on the era of lax oversight. Good. Photo: Jim Hinnant/U.S. Army W ITH the recent increase of can take to stay on the right side of the companies to keep in mind: journal of international peace operations | volume 5 | number 2 | september-october 2009 U.S. combat personnel in law. But it is equally important to Afghanistan and a broadening understand the consequences companies 1. Understand the Power of the Office of NATO's overall mission in Central may face if they do not take heed. Asia, the Obama Administration has The role of the U.S. inspector general was authorized nearly $4 billion of new In June of 2003, United States Protection first created in 1776 when then-General construction – including barracks, training and Investigations, LLC (USPI), a Texas- George Washington employed a specially- areas, and airfields – for this nation of based company, was awarded an US$8.4 appointed overseer to examine and almost 33 million people. million contract to provide security manage the discipline and combat services for the Kandahar-Kabul road readiness of the armed forces. Since that With the expansion of contingency construction project overseen by USAID. time, Congress expanded the mission of operations in Afghanistan and the During the course of USPI's contract this office by establishing independent potential that the Defense Department performance, federal authorities began to inspectors general within a number of will soon establish a theater-wide contract investigate the company's billing practices, federal agencies, including the Depart- for security services in that area, the role and thereafter initiated a full-scale ment of Defense, Department of State, of private security companies will become investigation conducted by the USAID and USAID. It has also created special even more central to U.S. and coalition Inspector General, the FBI, and prosecu- inspectors general for Iraq Reconstruction reconstruction and humanitarian efforts tors from the Justice Department. In and Afghanistan Reconstruction. in Afghanistan. But even as that role October of 2008, a federal Grand Jury grows, the federal government is poised charged that USPI, its two owners, and Although all of the inspectors-general are to impose much greater oversight of two other contractors conspired to charged with somewhat different security services through the work of defraud the United States and committed functions and priorities, they all share inspectors-general at a number of key major fraud and wire fraud by “defraud broad statutory powers and three main agencies, including the Department of [ing] the United States in connection with responsibilities: Defense, the Department of State, United the war and rebuilding efforts in Afghani- 1. to conduct audits and investigations of States Agency for International Develop- stan.” Specifically, the government government programs; ment (USAID), and the Special Inspector charged that USPI inflated expenses for 2. to promote economy, efficiency, and General for Afghanistan Reconstruction rental cars, fuel, and additional security effectiveness in the administration of (SIGAR). personnel and submitted fraudulent government programs, and to prevent invoices for payment. All defendants face and detect fraud and abuse; and It is important for companies to under- a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. 3. to inform agency heads and Congress stand the role of the inspectors-general about problems and deficiencies and what steps private security companies There are four considerations for 30 T
Pages to are hidden for
"Expecting Inspection"Please download to view full document