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Robert Brodsky

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House panel probes charges of human trafficking in Iraq embassy project

July 26, 2007 A pair of whistleblowers alleged Thursday that the contractor selected to build the U.S. embassy in Iraq "kidnapped" foreign nationals to work on the $592 million construction project, luring low-wage laborers into a war zone under false promises that they would be working at hotels in Dubai. John Owens and ...

Barrier Busters

July 25, 2007 In recent years, federal employees and their industry counterparts have practiced an awkward dance of compulsory partnerships and cautious mistrust. Brought together by necessity, the two sides generally interact at arm's length, signing contracts and sharing resources, but rarely developing friendship. It's hard to blame them. For years, personal relations ...

Protests could put brakes on new Iraq logistics contract

July 18, 2007 Faced with the prospect of missing out on the Army's most lucrative logistics contract in Iraq, a pair of teams of defense contractors is challenging the service's decision to award the work to three rival companies. Last week, Contingency Management Group LLC, a team composed of AECOM Government Services, Shaw ...

Barrier Busters

July 15, 2007 The Voyagers Program brings federal workers and industry together. In recent years, federal employees and their industry counterparts have practiced an awkward dance of compulsory partnerships and cautious mistrust. Brought together by necessity, the two sides generally interact at arm's length, signing contracts and sharing resources, but rarely developing friendship. ...

Size Does Matter

July 15, 2007 Agencies might be surprised to discover the true cost of the Postal Service's rate change. When the U.S. Postal Service implemented its latest rate change on May 14, attention focused, not surprisingly, on the 2-cent increase in the cost of a first-class stamp. The higher price could somewhat lighten the ...

Watched Cops

July 1, 2007 Inspectors general are finding that oversight cuts both ways. As inspector general of the Transportation Department, Mary Schiavo learned early on that her job would require as much bark as bite. In 1995, for example, Schiavo was completing an audit of the Big Dig tunnel project in Massachusetts and forecasting ...

Air Force helicopter contract faces another holdup

June 19, 2007 The Air Force's much-delayed search and rescue helicopter contract has hit a snag -- again. On Monday, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced that it had filed a protest of the Air Force's amended request for proposals, arguing that the service failed to address serious flaws in its evaluation of the aircraft's ...

GSA may let states, localities spend federal grants on schedule contracts

June 13, 2007 The General Services Administration is considering a plan that would allow state and local governments to spend federal grant money on prenegotiated contracts available through its widely used Multiple Awards Schedules. The initiative, known as cooperative purchasing, could go into effect as early as this summer and would partially reverse ...

Missing the Mark

June 1, 2007 Education gave out billions for software; now it says the programs don't work. For more than five years, the Bush administration has poured billions of dollars into the education technology market, encouraging school districts to use high-tech software to comply with the rigorous testing and accountability standards of the 2002 ...

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

June 1, 2007 NIH didn't know about a contractor's alleged conflict of interest because it never bothered to check. With very few exceptions, such as national parks and tradition-rich military academies and universities, American society dismissed the idea of an honor system long ago. The notion that a patron, employee or student will ...