July 22, 2016 - Continuing her longstanding efforts to bring accountability to federal government contracting, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is seeking answers on new allegations that Defense Logistics Agency employees provided non-public information to troubled government contractor Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company (KGL).
“According to court documents, employees within Defense Logistics Agency’s General Counsel’s Office reportedly provided non-public information to an attorney for KGL, including details regarding the government’s ongoing investigation into its relationship with Iran,” wrote McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, to agency Director Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch. “This calls into question the Defense Department’s previous assertions that KGL was not in violation of Iran sanctions and was eligible to receive major logistics contracts. It also raises very serious questions regarding the Defense Department’s management and oversight of its contracts with KGL.”
McCaskill’s letter follows a report from the Project on Government Oversight that the Defense Logistics Agency actively supported KGL’s bid to retain Defense Department contracts by feeding their legal counsel details of a federal law enforcement probe into the company’s alleged criminal wrongdoing of sanctions violations surrounding business ties with Iran.
McCaskill has previously expressed concerns about KGL’s conduct as a government contractor. In 2009, she chaired a hearing on circumstances surrounding the death of Lieutenant Colonel Dominic “Rocky” Baragona after he was killed in Iraq when his Humvee was struck by a supply truck driven by an employee of KGL. The parents of LTC Baragona filed a wrongful death suit in 2005, but the Kuwaiti company refused to appear in U.S. courts, claiming that the U.S. court system has no jurisdiction over the company, despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. government contracts. In 2011, McCaskill sought information from the Defense Department regarding allegations that KGL had improper ties to Iranian government-owned shipping companies – activities that would make it ineligible for U.S. government contracts. At the time, Defense Department officials assured McCaskill that it had no evidence of wrongdoing.In a 2011 hearing, citing the KGL case specifically, McCaskill called for the federal government to stop doing business with contractors responsible for past wrongdoing, a recommendation that was also made by her Commission on Wartime Contracting. The government’s top watchdog also recommended that federal agencies take specific steps to improve their suspension and debarment programs by assigning dedicated staff, developing guidance, and promoting the referral of cases.