Military Operations: Background Screenings of Contractor Employees Supporting Deployed Forces May Lack Critical Information, but U.S. Forces Take Steps to Mitigate the Risk Contractors May Pose
Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. military has long relied on contractors to provide a variety of goods and services to U.S. forces around the world, including those located in Iraq and Afghanistan. These services range from maintaining advanced weapon systems and setting up and operating communications networks to providing gate and perimeter security, interpreting foreign languages, preparing meals and doing laundry for the troops. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) uses contractors for a variety of reasons, including a lack of skilled and qualified military personnel and the need to conserve scarce skills to ensure that they will be available for future deployments. DOD estimates that it has more than 50,000 contractor employees in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Depending on the types of services being offered, contractor employees may be U.S. citizens, or third country nationals, and contractors are often encouraged to hire host country nationals to help rebuild local economies and get local nationals back to work. While contractor employees can provide significant benefits to U.S. forces, contractor employees can also pose a risk to U.S. troops. For example, the terrorists who attacked the U.S.S. Cole were suspected to be contractor employees associated with its refueling operations. This attack led military officials to realize the risk that contractors could pose to the safety and security of U.S. installations and military personnel. The risk is increased when U.S. forces are involved in a military operation against an insurgency, as they are in Iraq. Background screenings of contractor employees can provide some insight into the likelihood that the employee may cause harm to U.S. troops and may deter some criminals and terrorists from working at U.S. installations. Although DOD is not required to screen contractor employees, in some situations, ...
Date: September 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department