Pentagon’s Use of Private Security Contractors Requires Better Oversight - GAO
16:56 GMT 29.07.2021 (Updated: 16:57 GMT 29.07.2021)
© AP Photo / Charles DharapakThis March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. The Pentagon said Tuesday, July 6, 2021, that it is canceling a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion and will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
© AP Photo / Charles Dharapak
WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - The US Department of Defense using private security contractors requires better oversight to ensure they operate within international law, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report on Thursday.
"The Department of Defense (DOD) has been unable to comprehensively identify private security contractor (PSC) contracts and personnel supporting contingency, humanitarian, peace-keeping, or other similar operations, limiting DOD’s ability to readily and accurately identify the use of PSCs,” the report said.
"Without better identifying and tracking its PSC contracts and personnel, DOD will not be able to accurately determine its use of PSCs."
GAO’s report was prompted by allegations the private security contractors have violated the Montreux Document - signed by 57 nations, including the United States, in support of oversight and accountability of such organizations.
The report issued recommendations to improve oversight, including to comprehensively determine which contracted activities fall within the definition of a private security function.
GAO also recommended developing a data source containing info about the personnel and contracts that fall within that definition, and create a senior-level Defense Department position responsible for monitoring oversight.