Privatization & Procurement
Gilead Sciences of San Francisco is under investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for charging $84,000 for a 12 week course of a new drug to treat hepatitis C. Gilead sells the exact same course for $900 in poor countries like Egypt and India.
In a secluded valley a few miles from Kabul's international airport, $285 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed into a Black & Veatch-built power plant outside Tarakhil village. But, far from the public relations coup the project was intended to supply, the plant has run into problems with planning, cost over-runs and alleged corruption.
Two global institutions - the United Nations and the Olympic Games - face charges that they are using "unaccountable and out of control" private security contractors. One of the companies at the heart of both controversies is G4S, a private security company in the UK.
U.S. defense executives and consultants are worried about the sweeping changes in military programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday. Weapons systems like missile defense are likely to endure deep cuts.
Private military contractor KBR has been awarded a $35 million Pentagon contract involving major electrical work even though it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two American soldiers in Iraq.
The U.S. State Dept. is reaching out to independent contractors to train other private contractors who will be deployed as "civilian police" -- hired guns for so-called peacekeeping missions taking place in Haiti and other geopolitical hotspots. The senior adviser selected for the task "must oversee pre-deployment training currently being conducted" by Dyncorp International, Civilian Police International and Pacific Architects and Engineers/Homeland Security Corporation, according a recently released procurement document.
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.
The private sector was the first to notice: the planet is running out of fresh water at such a rate that soon it will be the most valuable commodity on earth.
The Missouri Prisoners Labor Union (MPLU) announced today that it is initiating an international boycott against all products produced either directly or indirectly by Colgate Palmolive.