Archive for the ‘no-bid contracts’ Category

c/o Underground News>>CNN

Washington (CNN) — The Department of Homeland Security has more contractors working for it than full-time employees, a situation two members of Congress said Tuesday was “unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable.”

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ranking Republican Susan Collins said they were “astounded” to learn there are more than 200,000 contractor employees at the department.
The civilian work force of Homeland Security numbers 188,000, according to an estimate provided to the senators by Homeland Security.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the agency’s Secretary Janet Napolitano, Lieberman and Collins said the figure “raises the question of whether DHS itself is in charge of its programs and policies, or whether it inappropriately has ceded core decisions to contractors.”

Although Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Collins of Maine noted that contractors can offer a variety of needed assets and skills to federal agencies, they called the current balance between federal employees and contractors at Homeland Security “unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable,” according to the letter.
Napolitano is slated to appear before the Senate committee Wednesday and is expected to face questions on the subject.
The senators want a unit-by-unit breakdown of where in Homeland Security the contractors are working and have asked for assurances that contractors are not performing “inherently governmental work.”
Clark Stevens, a spokesman for Homeland Security, told CNN Tuesday that “Secretary Napolitano has been strongly committed to decreasing the department’s reliance on contractors and strengthening the federal work force” at Homeland Security.
“Over the past year, we have been actively converting contractor positions to government positions and will continue to build on these efforts at an even more aggressive pace this year. We are working across the department to identify and make additional conversions as quickly as possible while sustaining the work force required to carry out our critical mission,” Stevens said.

Notes from Scott Nicol of
No Border Wall

The biggest news is that Congress is on the verge of approving more [appropriations for the Border Wall Fence]. The Senate version of the DHS appropriations bill has more (lots more!) border walls, while the House version does not. If it is not stripped in conference Boeing and Kiewit will be set to make billions of $ more. Ciro Rodriguez is on the conference committee, but it is hard to tell if he has the strength to stand up and demand that the Senate’s wall-building amendment be stripped.

Also, thousands of pages of FOIA requested documents on the wall were released (heavily redacted) online. Check out

From Scott Henson’s

$33 million for TDEX

Steve McCraw [BTC- McCraw is Texas Governor Perry’s appointed DPS agency head; who is also Texas State head of DHS. No insider trading there, right?] also used the commission meeting to promote spending $4.1 million in asset forfeiture funds on the TDEX database – Texas’ version of a Total Information Awareness intelligence system that’s been one of the Governor’s principle homeland security hobby horses. The $4.1 million makes up for a program shortfall experienced in the last biennium, said McCraw, who added that the Lege put up $12 million for the next biennium and the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division would spend another $17 million in grants on the project for a total of $33 million over the next two years.

McCraw called TDEX a “great investment for our department,” but Commissioner Carin Barth pointed out that spending money on TDEX meant the asset forfeiture money couldn’t go for other priorities like Tasers and body armor. To this writer, $33 million seems like a lot of scratch for a database that’s been highly controversial but which, to my knowledge, has never actually contributed to solving a criminal case.

By contrast, I’ll bet $33 million would go a long way toward reducing delays at DPS’ drivers license offices.[Or delays at the U.S. Mexican border – let’s not beat around the Bush here.]

Chertoff boasts, “Among the six of us we pretty much have all of those things in DHS, in DOD, and the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and finally, in the intelligence community. So we have pretty much every element of homeland security covered.”

Former Bush Security Chiefs Find Terrorism Obsession Can Be Profitable

Tom Barry | August 25, 2009

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Contracts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are spewing billions of dollars into private industry, largely to companies that also rely on Pentagon military contracts. In this new variation of the military-industrial complex a new revolving door is now in full swing.

Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, the two Republican stalwarts who served as the first two Department of Homeland Security secretaries, are now busy attracting defense, homeland security, and intelligence contracts in the country’s rapidly expanding high-tech security complex.

Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor who was appointed by President Bush to direct the newly created DHS, has parlayed his government service into a lucrative career in business since he stepped down as DHS chief in November 2004. Soon after leaving DHS, Tom Ridge became president and CEO of Ridge Global, a global strategic consulting firm. He also has joined numerous corporate boards and advisory groups, including major military and homeland security contractors. (See Box: Ridge’s Post-DHS Security Businesses).

Chertoff Group Covers Homeland Security

Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the DHS, has taken his portfolio over to the private sector. Homeland security is business—an estimated $200 billion in annual revenues—and the newly formed Chertoff Group is seeking a major stake in this booming industry.

As the latest homeland security consulting firm, Chertoff Group will be competing with two other security companies formed by top Republican Party figures: Ashcroft Group founded by former Attorney General John Ashcroft; and Guiliani Group, formed by former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudolf Guiliani. Although not specifically focused on homeland security, Ridge Global, formed by the first DHS secretary Tom Ridge, also has a piece of the expanding global security industry.

Chertoff Group describes itself as “a security and risk management advisory firm that counsels corporate and government clients addressing threats related to terrorism, fraud, cyber security, border protection, and supply chain security.”

The Chertoff Group has a leg up on its competitors. The revolving door between government and industry has brought a half-dozen former high government officials of the Bush administration into the Chertoff Group.

Not only does it count on the political and business connections of Chertoff, the new firm has a roster of five other former government officials that can translate government experience and inside information into lucrative industry contracts.

Chertoff boasts, “Among the six of us we pretty much have all of those things in DHS, in DOD, and the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and finally, in the intelligence community. So we have pretty much every element of homeland security covered.”