Several days ago we posted a piece about the poor state of embassy security. According to a State Department Inspector General report released last week, many contractors do a poor job of vetting the folks they hire to protect US diplomats in embassies spread around the world. A new feature article in today’s Chicago Tribune tells just how bad things are in some of our 294 embassies.
The reports coming out of Benghazi paint a bleak picture. According to the inspector general, one guard hired by an unnamed American contractor to provide security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya had reportedly thrown a bomb at the consulate several months earlier. The reports also suggest that some guards never fired a single shot despite a lengthy firefight at the facility.
The Chicago Tribune today reports that guards from the host country aren’t welll trained or qualified. According to the Tribune article, the Libyan man in charge of the local guard force was a former English teacher who had never held a gun and had no security background.
The picture that emerges from these various reports is of our embassies surrounded by guards – some armed with automatic weapons – that have little or no training and no security clearances. If the State Department report is true, some guards may actually be terrorists!
Diplomatic security – more specifically, embassy security – falls upon 3 groups. US Marines assigned to the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, guards hired by contractors hired by the State Department and security provided by the host nations themselves. In the wake of the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, the State Department has been attempting to bolster all aspects of embassy security.
If the Inspector General’s report is true, there are significant opportunities for whistleblowers who work or once worked for the companies providing security services at our consulates, embassies and diplomatic missions. The Inspector General’s report was heavily redacted for security purposes but the US General Services Administration says that the companies with large embassy security contracts are Aegis Defense Services, DynCorp International, EOD Technology, Global Strategies Group (Integrated Security), International Development Solutions, SOC LLC, Torres International Services and Triple Canopy. This is NOT to say that these are the companies where the Inspector General found any wrongdoing. We simply don’t know.
At this point we are looking for people that have any inside (original source) information about fraud involving contracts to provide embassy security or foreign aid.
Successful whistleblower claimants are eligible to receive up to 30% of whatever the government collects from wrongdoers. With 294 embassies and missions worldwide, we believe there are many whistleblower opportunities available through the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security local guard force program and other security contracts.
If you believe that you possess original source information relating to embassy security contract fraud, give us a call. We represent the whistleblower in one of the largest pending False Claims Act cases in the nation (HUD’s $2.4 billion claim against Allied.) Not every case is worth billions but most successful whistleblowers are very well compensated for their information.
Need an even better reason to come forward? Poor security practices cost lives. Think about the families of the dozens of men and women who have been killed at embassies while serving the U.S. They deserve justice. Becoming a whistleblower provides a valuable service for the men and women still working in embassies as well as US taxpayers.