SHAHEEN: LATEST INSPECTOR GENERAL FINDINGS SHOW ONGOING SECURITY GAPS IN DEFENSE CONTRACTING

November 13, 2013

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is expressing outrage and calling for improved contract oversight in the wake of a new Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report detailing the Army’s use of a contractor with known ties to terrorist and insurgent groups. The SIGAR report comes after ABC World News reported earlier this week that the U.S. has paid more than $150 million to companies in Afghanistan that have been accused of financing terrorist attacks on American soldiers and facilities. SIGAR’s latest report notes that at least one of the companies even had access to an American military base after it had been identified as a threat to U.S. national security.

"The idea that U.S. taxpayer dollars are flowing into the hands of terrorist groups bent on killing Americans is unthinkable and unacceptable,” Shaheen said. “The Inspector General’s recent finding that one of the companies it has tried to bar not only received a U.S. contract but also gained access to an American military base in Afghanistan is particularly disturbing. This type of activity endangers the lives of our troops and represents a glaring and dangerous security gap.”

Shaheen, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, has led a bipartisan coalition calling on the Army to take swift action on the longstanding backlog of 43 referrals pending before the Army’s Suspension and Debarment Official that involve individuals or companies with ties to terrorist organizations including the Haqqani Network and Al Qaeda.