Privatization & Procurement

Excerpts from Consumer Reports' ground breaking study on commercialism in the schools.
Bechtel has been awarded a contract by USAID for the reconstruction of Iraq's schools, as part of a deal worth up to $1.03 billion. But the question remains whether Bechtel, like the US army, is part of the solution or part of the problem.
Late last month Blackwater Worldwide lost its billion-dollar contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq, but by next month many of its private security guards will be back on the job here. The same individuals will just be wearing new uniforms, working for Triple Canopy, the firm that won the State Department's new contract.
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.
The U.S. Congress saw no progresses toward corporate accountability and reining in corporate influence over public institutions in 2013, according to the newly released Corporate Accountability Coalition (CAC) Congressional Report Card.
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."
Kuwaiti firm Agility (formerly Public Warehousing) indicted here for overcharging the Army on an $8.5 billion contract is negotiating a possible settlement with the Justice Department. On Nov. 9, a federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted the firm on charges it gouged the U.S. government by overcharging on its contract to supply food to American troops in Iraq.
Venezuela has taken control of two oil fields operated by French firm Total and Italy's Eni.
El Proceso quotes Anna Feigenbaum and Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch on how the private security industry has cashed in on the War on Terror.
The Army will examine as many as 18,000 contracts awarded over the past four years to support U.S. forces in Iraq to determine how many are tainted by waste, fraud and abuse.