‘Slush fund’? USAID under fire for paying Afghan, other governments to pass laws

Alliances

‘Slush fund’? USAID under fire for paying Afghan, other governments to pass laws

Barnini Chakraborty

FoxNews.com

A shadow is cast on boxes of relief items from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).Reuters

WASHINGTON –  A U.S. agency whose mission is to foster democracy by providing financial aid to foreign governments is under fire for what some lawmakers charge is blatant political bribery to get foreign officials to pass policies favored by the Obama administration.  Continue reading

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US ambassador to Kosovo hired by construction firm he lobbied for

US ambassador to Kosovo hired by construction firm he lobbied for

EU diplomat criticises way Christopher Dell pushed through deal for Bechtel Corporation to build controversial highway to Albania

in Washington, Lawrence Marzouk and Petrit Collaku in Pristina, and Erjona Rusi in Tirana

Christopher Dell with Kosovo PM
Christopher Dell with Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci in 2009. Dell took joined Bechtel when he finished his career at the State Department. Photo: Office of the Kosovo PM

A US ambassador to Kosovo, who lobbied for the construction of a $1bn road through the war-torn country, has taken up a post with the American construction giant that secured the lucrative contract.

Christopher Dell, a career diplomat nominated by Barack Obama to represent the US in Pristina, was employed by the Bechtel Corporation, which he helped win a contract to build a highway to neighbouring Albania. Continue reading

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Man loses job. What next? (He’s G4S’s Nick Buckles, by the way)

Man loses job. What next? (He’s G4S’s Nick Buckles, by the way)

What happens after a government outsourcer fails shareholders and the public, and the boss loses his job? Nick Buckles gets £1,200,000 — and a pension of more than £400,000 a year.

Nick Buckles, ex-chief executive of government outsourcer G4S Continue reading

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Corruption Impacts Afghan Customs Revenue

Corruption Impacts Afghan Customs Revenue

Today, SIGAR released an audit of the $198-million effort to develop Afghan customs revenue capacity.  The report found U.S. programs have had some success, but challenges will limit customs revenue as a sustainable source of income for Afghanistan.  Among the findings:

–Corruption impacts all levels of the customs process & is the biggest problem affecting Afghan customs revenue. Continue reading

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Man loses job. What next? (He’s G4S’s Nick Buckles, by the way)

Man loses job. What next? (He’s G4S’s Nick Buckles, by the way)

Clare Sambrook 15 April 2014
Subjects:

What happens after a government outsourcer fails shareholders and the public, and the boss loses his job? Nick Buckles gets £1,200,000 — and a pension of more than £400,000 a year.

Nick Buckles, ex-chief executive of government outsourcer G4S Continue reading

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Olive Group is First Private Security Company to be Awarded Accredited Certification to the Private Security Standard (PSC1): a Key Milestone for the Company and the Industry

Olive Group is First Private Security Company to be Awarded Accredited Certification to the Private Security Standard (PSC1): a Key Milestone for the Company and the Industry

DUBAI, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Olive Group FZ-LLC has become the first private security company globally to achieve accredited certification against the PSC1 standard for private security companies. This follows a rigorous process of audit and inspection of its corporate management systems and its field operations in Iraq. Continue reading

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The Serco insider: what it’s really like to work for the outsourcing giant

The Serco insider: what it’s really like to work for the outsourcing giant

Staff are treated like schoolchildren and targets are more important than customer serviceEmail
A Serco sign at the office in Truro, Cornwall

Customer service is repeatedly ignored due to ‘targets’ being of primary importance, says a Serco employee. Photograph: Jim Wileman

Having been employed by Serco and its predecessor for around five years, I am only too aware of what goes on in government-awarded contracts.

Even though civil servants are paid some £4,500 more than us, we are expected to complete work too complex for their systems. Continue reading

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A Serco bet? Australia’s immigration centres are up for grabs

A Serco bet? Australia’s immigration centres are up for grabs

Crikey
By by Cathy Alexander
11 April 2014

Want to run Australia’s immigration detention centres? The job is out for tender and is likely to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Serco might not retain it.

http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/villawood.jpg

The government has quietly put the management of onshore immigration detention centres out to tender, raising the possibility that Serco will lose the job — or that centres will be shut as part of an overhaul of asylum seeker policy.

All Australia’s immigration detention centres, onshore and offshore, are privatised, and there’s billions at stake for the multinational giants that bid. British services behemoth Serco runs all eight onshore centres (including Christmas Island, Villawood and Curtin). Serco started that contract back in 2009, and it’s worth an eye-watering $3 billion. Continue reading

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G4S Chief Ashley Almanza Nets £648k Bonus Despite Firm’s Troubles

G4S Chief Ashley Almanza Nets £648k Bonus Despite Firm’s Troubles

Ashley Almanza

Ashley Almanza is chief executive of scandal-hit G4SReuters

G4S boss Ashley Almazna pocketed a £648,000 bonus from the scandal-hit firm for 2013, despite his admission that it had been an “extremely challenging year”.

That comes on top of his £1.194m (€1.45m, $1.2m) annual fixed pay, which includes benefits and pension contributions. His basic salary alone is £890,000. Continue reading

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Government agrees to ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with G4S over being ripped off

Government agrees to ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with G4S over being ripped off

Whitehall has agreed to allow G4S to bid for lucrative contracts again, on the condition that they ‘don’t make it too obvious’ when they’re defrauding the public purse of hundreds of millions of pounds.

At a press conference earlier today, a Treasury spokesman confirmed that a ‘gentlemen’s bargain’ had been struck, saying that ‘Ultimately, we know the private sector will always provide better value for money than our own bloated and befuddled ways. If we have to turn a blind eye to a few pens missing from the office, or bars of gold from the Bank of England, then that’s just the price we pay for the extraordinary expertise they bring in providing trained security guards for international events and tagging prisoners who are definitely alive and still under surveillance, rather than not really there at all, really.’ Continue reading

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