Felons with Firearms

So who IS checking those ID cards? Well, back in 2005 it might have been a convicted felon.

A 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation found that the Army had awarded two sole-source contracts totaling $495 million for the majority of the contract guards for its installations. Chenega Integrated Systems and Alutiiq Security and Technology were considered small, disadvantage businesses, Alaska Native Corporation firms. Interestingly, they subbed much of the work to considerably larger companies.

Forty-six of 57 Army installations received sole source guards, and despite a two-part, Army-mandated screening process, it seems one contractor allowed guards to attend firearms training and start working even though their screening was incomplete. It gets better: In 2005, the Army itself discovered 61 guards at one installation alone had criminal records, and 25 or so of those had been involved domestic violence and abuse and assorted felonies. (These guys were armed AND checking your ID.) At another installation (different contractor) the Army found 28 of the guards in its own Crime Records Center with records from assault to drug possession to forgery.

It should also be noted the contractors were paid 18 million above their contract awards as of February 2006 for meeting basic contractual requirements — another sore point with the GAO.

GAO officials state there has been no follow-up investigation. The Army is reportedly complying with GAO recommendations, though the Army thought its contractors were in compliance. The GAO focused on the Army, because it used the waiver authority granted by Congress in FY 2006 more extensively than the other services.

Who’s at your gate?

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