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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

U.S. Congressional Oversight

U.S. House Committee on Appropriations

The House Committee on Appropriations is responsible for drafting the spending bills that set the expenditures of the U.S. government. Unlike most House committees, Appropriations has the entire federal government under its jurisdiction, as its bills allocate funds to all government agencies, departments and organizations. The committee and its subcommittees also hear testimony from government officials, including testimony on defense expenditures and spending on private military and security contractors.

Hearings

111th Congress (2009-2010)

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2010: Part 1 (H. Hrg. 111- 56–232)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing on DOD appropriations, witnesses discussed DOD contracting for goods and services, including for private security services. Witnesses were asked about evolution of the culture of contracting within the Department of Defense and its changing nature over time and its impact on the ‘‘Esprit de corps’’ within the U.S. military. On page 411 of the transcript, there is also a breakout of contracts for contracted security forces by company. This is followed by a Q & A about contractor oversight. 

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2011: Part 3 (H. Hrg. 111-65-009)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing exploring DOD appropriations, witnesses were asked about illegal conduct by contractors and what the Department has done to tighten its authority over armed contractors in Afghanistan and other theatres of operations. Witnesses were also asked about the execution and oversight of contracts to train Afghan police forces. 

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2010: Part 3 (H. Hrg. 111-56-285)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing, witnesses Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were questioned about the number of contractors in Iraq and the types of tasks they perform, including whether contractors guard U.S. installations. They were also asked whether, how and when contractor support would be removed from Iraq. 

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2010: Part 2 (H. Hrg. 111-56-260)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing on DOD appropriations, witnesses discussed DOD contracting for goods and services, including for support services by private military firms. Witnesses were asked about airdrop operations accomplished by contractor support; withdraw of contractor support from Iraq; contractor access to DOD information and installations; and other contracting issues. 

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2011: Part 2 (H. Hrg. 111-65-008)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing on DOD appropriations, witnesses were asked about DOD contract support, including support by third-country nationals. A witness testified that the DOD has standardized procedures in place to vet third-country nationals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Witnesses also discussed military contracting generally, and the issues the military has faced with contractor oversight and contractor waste, fraud, and abuse. 

110th Congress (2007-2008)

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2009: Part 1 (H. Hrg. 110-46-473)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing on DOD appropriations, witnesses discussed DOD contracting for goods and services, including for private security services. Witnesses were asked: How does DOD capture lessons learned in providing battlefield contractor support, and how are lessons learned provided to new commanders as they prepare for deployment? How does DOD achieve oversight of contracting that is accomplished at field locations around the world? How does DOD represent contract security and support personnel in training scenarios during predeployment exercises? What risks does DOD face with its growing reliance on contractors, and what steps can Congress take to reduce contracting vulnerabilities especially in contingency situations? Who in the Army chain of command monitors contractor performance and takes action if the contractor’s conduct is inappropriate or illegal?

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2009: Part 4 (H. Hrg. 110-46-476)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing on DOD appropriations, witnesses discussed DOD contracting for goods and services, including for private security services. Witnesses provided an “outsourcing report” on the DOD’s use of contractor support. Witnesses were also asked: Who in the Army has oversight for contract services? How are Army commanders at the various levels of command trained to manage contracting out for services?

Department of Defense Appropriations for 2009: Part 2 (H. Hrg. 110-46-474)

Author: House Committee on Appropriations
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At this hearing on DOD appropriations, witnesses discussed DOD contracting for goods and services, including for private security services. Witnesses were asked: Do Army training scenarios include role players for contractors, such as contractor security personnel? Witnesses were also asked generally about Defense contractor hiring, performance indicators, and oversight.