Privatization & Procurement

Underfunded schools, desperate for resources, are increasingly receptive to corporate-sponsored educational materials and programs, and are ever more accepting of the associated commercialism and product promotion. ''We are paying for educational deficits by selling kids to advertisers,'' says Peggy Charren, president of the advocacy group Action for Children's Television
Jordan is selling its stake in the flagship Arab Potash Company to the Canadian potash giant PCS as part of privatization efforts spearheaded by USAID.
A new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be unveiled by President Barack Obama this week. It plans to ramp up the training of the Afghan army and police at a cost of some $2 billion a year. Private contractor DynCorp is already lining up to bid for some of the lucrative contracts. This article provides an overview of key reports assessing the training of the Afghan police, and DynCorp's role, to date.
Nowhere is the system for buying and selling water more permissive than in Chile, where water rights are private property, not a public resource, and can be traded like commodities with little government oversight or safeguards for the environment. The small town of Quillaga is being swallowed up in the country's intensifying water wars.
G4S, the Anglo-Danish security contractor, has agreed to withdraw from prison work in Israel after activists disrupted the company annual general meeting for the second year in a row. The company is also under fire for ill-treatment of detainees in the UK, including the death of an Angolan man.
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."
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.
San Diego-based Sempra Energy is dodging US environmental laws by building power plants in Mexico -- and shipping the electricity back to California.
G4S and Serco - two private security contractors - have just been awarded multi-million pound contracts by the UK Borders Authority to provide housing to asylum seekers, edging out charities for the work. Activists are protesting, saying that G4S has a history of abusing immigrants and providing poor quality housing.
Shares of major US defense contractors including Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman rose upon the unveiling of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2011 spending plan for the Pentagon, part of the president's overall $3.8 trillion budget proposal. More than $2 billion will be used to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, blamed for a significant rise in civilian casualties in the "war on terror."