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Commercial augmentation for intelligence operations: lessons learned from the Global War on Terrorism.

The enormous operational demands of the Global War on Terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act  (GWOT GWOT Global War on Terrorism ) have required an unprecedented expansion of private sector augmentation AUGMENTATION, old English law. The name of a court erected by Henry VIII., which was invested with the power of determining suits and controversies relating to monasteries and abbey lands.  to mitigate critical shortfalls in analytical staffing and supplement operational-level resources for tasks such as collection management, document exploitation, interrogation interrogation

In criminal law, process of formally and systematically questioning a suspect in order to elicit incriminating responses. The process is largely outside the governance of law, though in the U.S.
 support, intelligence production, and linguistic services. Unfortunately, few Department of Defense intelligence organizations were fully prepared for the expanded contract administration requirements necessary to manage the influx of private sector support. This article discusses some recent lessons learned from commercial augmentation programs within the Intelligence Community and offers several recommendations for improving the management of these resources.


Since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), the Department of Defense (DoD) has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of private sector support to military operations This is a list of missions, operations, and projects. Missions in support of other missions are not listed independently. World War I
''See also List of military engagements of World War I
  • Albion (1917)
, a market now valued at over $200 billion a year and accounting for nearly half of the DoD's total annual expenditures (Apgar & Keane, 2004, p. 45). Equally significant has been the dramatic increase in service-based contracting. During the mid-1980s, approximately two-thirds of the Pentagon's acquisition budget went towards the purchase of goods and infrastructure projects while today over half of all DoD contracting dollars are used to acquire services, representing a 90% increase since 1993 (Makinson, 2004).

For many decades, DoD employed contract labor primarily for logistical lo·gis·tic   also lo·gis·ti·cal
1. Of or relating to symbolic logic.

2. Of or relating to logistics.

[Medieval Latin logisticus, of calculation
 and military support functions. Today, the private contractor workforce is used extensively for sensitive security- and intelligence-related tasks as well. Among several of the intelligence organizations created in the wake of 9/11, such as the National Counterterrorism coun·ter·ter·ror  
Intended to prevent or counteract terrorism: counterterror measures; counterterror weapons.

Action or strategy intended to counteract or suppress terrorism.
 Center (NCTC NCTC National Conservation Training Center
NCTC National Counterterrorism Center (9/11 Commission Report)
NCTC National Cable Television Cooperative
NCTC National Collection of Type Cultures (UK laboratory) 
) and DoD's Counterintelligence Field Activity Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) agency whose size and budget are classified. The CIFA was created by a directive from the Secretary of Defense (Number 5105.67) on February 19, 2002 [1].  (CIFA CIFA Counterintelligence Field Activity (US DoD)
CIFA Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa (FAO regional organization)
CIFA Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (India) 
), more than half of all staff analysts are private contractors (Pincus, 2006). This trend applies as well for many of DoD's deployed operational organizations with over 60 firms currently providing security and intelligence-related services in Iraq and 20 in Afghanistan (Cooper, 2004, p. 570). This figure includes over 6,000 private contract linguists A linguist in the academic sense is a person who studies linguistics. Ambiguously, the word is sometimes also used to refer to a polyglot (one who knows more than 2 languages), or a grammarian, but these two uses of the word are distinct.  supporting various military operations around the world at a total annual cost exceeding $250 million (Alexander, 2004). According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 some estimates, nearly half of the entire U.S. intelligence budget in 2004 was spent on such procurements of commercial systems and operational support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services  (Shorrock, 2005), reflecting DoD's "unprecedented reliance on the contracting community for analytical staffing, workforce management Workforce Management (WFM) encompasses all the responsibilities for maintaining a productive and happy workforce. Sometimes referred to as HRMS systems, or even the larger ERP systems (Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP). There are many software vendors within this space. , and training," according to one intelligence community expert (Pincus, 2006).

While these commercial augmentation programs have proven essential for conducting critical wartime intelligence operations The variety of intelligence and counterintelligence tasks that are carried out by various intelligence organizations and activities within the intelligence process. Intelligence operations include planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, , several recent government investigations have revealed deficiencies in contract administration procedures such as repeated violations of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), misuse of the Federal Supply Schedule, significant performance of out-of-scope activities by contractors, improper use of personal services personal services n. in contract law, the talents of a person which are unusual, special or unique and cannot be performed exactly the same by another. These can include the talents of an artist, an actor, a writer, or professional services.  contracts, and inadequate oversight of contract delivery and performance. A 2004 DoD Inspector General (IG) report reviewing contract awards for the Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) سلطة الائتلاف الموحدة was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States, , including several vendors providing intelligence support services, found "significant weaknesses" in management procedures for 22 of the 24 contracts reviewed (DoD, Office of the IG, Report No. D-2004-057, March 18, 2004, p. 28). Likewise, one Government Accountability Office The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress, and thus an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government.  (GAO) report on intelligence support services in Iraq revealed "a lack of effective management controls" in 10 of 11 task orders worth a total of $66 million (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-05-201, April, 2005, p. 7). These reports, among others, reveal inadequate contract administration recordkeeping for intelligence support services used during recent contingency operations A military operation that is either designated by the Secretary of Defense as a contingency operation or becomes a contingency operation as a matter of law (10 United States code (USC) 101[a][13]). It is a military operation that: a. . While DoD intelligence organizations have aggressively exploited a wide range of commercial augmentation to satisfy expanded operational requirements (programming) operational requirements - Qualitative and quantitative parameters that specify the desired capabilities of a system and serve as a basis for determining the operational effectiveness and suitability of a system prior to deployment. , they have not dedicated sufficient resources and training to ensure the effective management and oversight of these contracts.


The most critical element of any successful program of commercial augmentation is the application of effective administration procedures beginning with the contract award. This process includes the tasks of identifying requirements, circulating requests for proposal, soliciting bids, conducting market research, and developing contract language. Shortfalls in any step of the development process can make effective management and surveillance of contract performance difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

The enormous operational demands since 9/11 have placed many DoD intelligence organizations under significant pressure to rapidly expand their collection and analytical capabilities, in some cases resulting in inappropriate modification of contract award procedures. One of the problems cited in recent investigations was repeated misuse of Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA BPA British Paediatric Association. ) under the General Services Administration The General Services Administration (GSA) was established by section 101 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C.A. § 751). The GSA sets policy for and manages government property and records.  (GSA (1) (Global mobile Suppliers Association, Sawbridgeworth, U.K., A membership organization of suppliers of GSM products and services. Its goal is to promote GSM as the worldwide mobile communications standard. See GSM Association and GSM. ) Federal Supply Schedule to expedite ex·pe·dite  
tr.v. ex·pe·dit·ed, ex·pe·dit·ing, ex·pe·dites
1. To speed up the progress of; accelerate.

 contract awards and bypass open bidding. These violations of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) were later cited by investigators as contributing factors in problems with contractor support in Iraq and at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Noun 1. Guantanamo Bay - an inlet of the Caribbean Sea; a United States naval station was established on the bay in 1903
bay, embayment - an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf
 for operations involving human intelligence teams, document exploitation support, strategic debriefing de·brief·ing  
1. The act or process of debriefing or of being debriefed.

2. The information imparted during the process of being debriefed.

Noun 1.
, linguistic services, and interrogation functions (Department of Interior IG Report, 2004).

Generally speaking, such BPAs offer the government a simplified contracting vehicle whereby an agency may use an indefinite delivery order for a broad class of goods or services where the precise quantity and delivery requirements The stipulation that requires that an item of materiel must be delivered in the total quantity required by the date required.  are not known in advance. These contract vehicles are particularly useful for repeated procurements of individual services over a given period of time, particularly from habitual Regular or customary; usual.

A habitual drunkard, for example, is an individual who regularly becomes intoxicated as opposed to a person who drinks infrequently.
 service providers offering a known price advantage with an established record of performance. When properly applied, this system can greatly expedite the process of solicitation solicitation

In criminal law, the act of asking, inducing, or directing someone to commit a crime. The person soliciting another becomes an accomplice to the crime. The term also refers to the act of obtaining bribes, as well as to the crime of a prostitute who offers sexual
 and market research, yet problems with several intelligence-related contracts arose when contracting officials misused GSA schedule labor categories to acquire out-of-scope services for certain intelligence support activities. Specifically, GSA schedules used to procure To cause something to happen; to find and obtain something or someone.

Procure refers to commencing a proceeding; bringing about a result; persuading, inducing, or causing a person to do a particular act; obtaining possession or control over an item; or making a person
 strategic debriefers, interrogators, counterintelligence coun·ter·in·tel·li·gence  
The branch of an intelligence service charged with keeping sensitive information from an enemy, deceiving that enemy, preventing subversion and sabotage, and collecting political and military information.
 agents, and intelligence analysts for work in Iraq were classified as "engineering" and "information technology services." A later GAO review of these contract awards found that "the labor category descriptions in the GSA contracts were, in most cases, significantly different from the descriptions on DoD's Statements of Work and do not accurately represent the work the contractor performed" (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-05-201, 2005, p. 8).

A drawback DRAWBACK, com. law. An allowance made by the government to merchants on the reexportation of certain imported goods liable to duties, which, in some cases, consists of the whole; in others, of a part of the duties which had been paid upon the importation.  of using such BPA awards for sensitive intelligence functions arises partly because with the GSA system the government loses a significant degree of oversight into how a vendor may fulfill an individual task order. This situation can also limit the government's discretion over the screening, vetting, and assignment of contractor personnel. Additionally, GSA procedures provide limited visibility into how a prime contractor may subcontract sub·con·tract  
A contract that assigns some of the obligations of a prior contract to another party.

intr. & tr.v. sub·con·tract·ed, sub·con·tract·ing, sub·con·tracts
 out various parts of the required services. For routine commercial services, this arrangement is generally satisfactory, yet is problematic as contracting officers A US military officer or civilian employee who has a valid appointment as a contracting officer under the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The individual has the authority to enter into and administer contracts and determinations as well as findings about such contracts.  attempt to provide appropriately suited individuals for highly technical intelligence tasks or sensitive operational requirements. The Army investigation into abuse incidents at Abu Ghraib See Abu Ghraib prison and Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse.
The city of Abu Ghraib (BGN/PCGN romanization: Abū Ghurayb; أبو غريب in Arabic) in the Anbar Governorate of Iraq is located 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of
 specifically cited the potential danger of using the GSA Federal Supply Schedule for sensitive intelligence activities, noting that such "contracts should be carefully scrutinized given the complexity and sensitivity connected to interrogation operations" (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 50).

In addition to misapplication misapplication,
n the use of incorrect or improper procedures while administering treatment; results from inadequacy in experience, training, skills, or knowledge. May also result from impairment or incompetence.
 of GSA schedules, several contracts for intelligence-related services in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay lacked sufficient market research and utilized improper solicitation procedures. Expedited awards for several support contracts with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq included problems with vague requirements language, improper use of personal services contracts, and lack of price reasonableness determinations prior to award (DoD, Office of the IG, Report No. D-2004-057, March 18, 2004, p. 18). Other procedural irregularities surfaced during reviews of interrogation support contracts for the Abu Ghraib detention facility including evidence that vendors assisted in the drafting of the requirements language and preparation of Statements of Work (SOW sow

a female pig that has had a litter.

sow mouth
the maxilla is foreshortened and the lower jaw protrudes beyond it.

sow stall
) prior to the contract award. While there are some legal allowances for such collaboration, the subsequent contract award to the same vendor potentially presented a conflict of interest in violation of FAR guidelines (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 49).

Many of the cited discrepancies in the contract award process were attributable in part to enormous unforeseen operational demands of the GWOT. This operation placed significant strain on a limited number of contracting officials, some without adequate knowledge of the unique mission requirements or specific tasks that the vendors would perform. The Army in particular was unprepared for the surge in demand of intelligence support requirements for GWOT operations. During the initial phases of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF OEF Operation Enduring Freedom (US government response to September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks)
OEF Oxford Economic Forecasting
OEF Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum
OEF Optimal Extension Fields
), numerous intelligence organizations reported critical shortfalls of key personnel, particularly for high-demand skills sets such as linguistic support and interrogation operations. A U.S. Central Command after-action review of OEF operations reported that "the Army could not provide, and did not have an effective system in place to identify and contract for this support" (U.S. Army Central Command, Operation Enduring Freedom: CAAT CAAT Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK)
CAAT Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health)
CAAT College of Applied Arts and Technology
 Initial Impressions Report, p. 54).


Another significant shortfall affecting some intelligence service contracting has been the lack of standardized standardized

pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.

standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.

standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate.
 contract language and explicit SOWs describing the nature of required support. A recent GAO report on DoD contract management procedures noted that there has been "no standardization standardization

In industry, the development and application of standards that make it possible to manufacture a large volume of interchangeable parts. Standardization may focus on engineering standards, such as properties of materials, fits and tolerances, and drafting
 of necessary contract language for deployment of contractors" (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-03-695, June 2003, p. 3). Such problems have led to some contract personnel arriving at duty locations with insufficient training, equipment, or professional qualifications for their assigned tasks--a problem compounded by task orders inaccurately describing the nature of services to be performed and conditions of the work environment. One contracting official involved with Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom
OIF Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (French: International Organization of Francophonie)
OIF Office for Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association) 
) noted, "the demands that we asked of our contractors were not always written in the contracts that they were supporting" (Tiron, 2003, p. 32).

The mismatch mismatch

1. in blood transfusions and transplantation immunology, an incompatibility between potential donor and recipient.

2. one or more nucleotides in one of the double strands in a nucleic acid molecule without complementary nucleotides in the same position on the other
 between SOW language and required contractor skill sets was cited as a compounding factor in difficulties with management of interrogators supporting OIF. The initial SOW for contract interrogation services described similar skill sets as military occupational specialty A Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is a job classification in use in the United States Army and Marine Corps. The occupational specialty system uses a system of letters and numbers to identify general and specific jobs of military personnel.  97E, Human Intelligence Collector, yet many of the contractor personnel were later determined to lack equivalent professional training as their uniformed counterparts. Several of the contractors in question possessed experience in law enforcement or related civilian functions but lacked specific knowledge of military interrogation techniques, the Law of Land Warfare The Law of Land Warfare is that part of the Laws of War applicable to the conduct of warfare on land (territory) and to relationships between belligerents and neutral states. , the Geneva Conventions Geneva Conventions, series of treaties signed (1864–1949) in Geneva, Switzerland, providing for humane treatment of combatants and civilians in wartime. , and applicable DoD intelligence oversight policy (DoD, Detainee de·tain·ee  
A person held in custody or confinement: a political detainee.

Noun 1. detainee - some held in custody
political detainee
 Operations Inspection, 2004, p. 88). Similar problems were identified during operations in Afghanistan where several contract interrogators supporting operations In amphibious operations, those operations conducted by forces other than those conducted by the amphibious force. See also amphibious force; amphibious operation.  at Bagram Air Base Bagram Air Base (ICAO: OAIX) is a military controlled airport and housing complex that is located next to the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in Parvan province of Afghanistan.  had received no military intelligence training prior to deployment.

Another implication of poorly defined SOW language is that narrowly articulated duty descriptions can significantly limit the range of labor that a contractor may perform as mission requirements change over time. A Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) is legally unable to revise SOW language based on changing mission needs without an explicit revision to the original contract. In some cases, this situation results in undue pressure on contractors to perform out-of-scope activities for which they are not properly trained. In the case of Abu Ghraib, several of the contractors performing interrogation and analytical functions were originally employed only for translation services. The Army investigation recommended that for future operational support contracts, the "requiring activities must carefully develop the applicable SOW to include technical requirements and requisite personnel qualifications, experience, and training" (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 49).

Another issue of concern arising from narrowly crafted contract language is that when task orders do not reflect the actual nature of work to be performed, pressure often arises from the vendor's local manager to "grow the contract" outside of the scope of the original proposal. This situation may result in operational inefficiencies for the receiving unit as well as potentially unforeseen costs to the government, as contracts must be modified after the fact to reflect the actual conditions of work performance.

Difficulties in developing precise SOW language often arise from a lack of communication between the contracting authority and the end user of the commercial service. In the case of the OIF interrogation contracts, the original SOW did not specify the need for prior training in military interrogation procedures, detainee handling policy, or applicable military intelligence doctrine. In some cases the contracting authority did not possess familiarity with the specific mission needs of the receiving unit or the manner in which contractors would be employed, resulting in the deployment of contractors not properly screened or qualified for their required duties.

For sensitive functions such as intelligence collection and analysis, it is imperative that language in the contract proposal explicitly define all performance standards and technical qualifications. This requires that contracting officers without operational intelligence experience must have close interaction with technical experts from the requiring unit and frequent interface with designated CORs located at the site of work; yet, in many cases this level of collaboration does not occur. The GAO report on management procedures in Iraq found that contracting officers "had little to no communication with the CORs in Iraq and did not follow up to obtain monthly reports from them on the contractor's performance ... [and] never verified that the Army personnel serving as CORs had appropriate training" (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-05-201, 2005, p. 12).

Communication between the contracting officer, the requiring unit, and the designated CORs must begin at the earliest stages of the Request for Proposal process to facilitate effective market research, identify the most suitable vendors, and ensure that appropriate contract language is developed that reflects actual mission requirements. Without input from the requiring unit, it is nearly impossible for contracting officers to communicate clear performance expectations to potential vendors during the solicitation process. As a review of intelligence operations during OIF concluded, the "continued use of contractors will be required, but contracts must clearly specify the technical requirements and personnel qualifications, experience, and training needed (Independent Panel to Review DoD Detention Operations, Final Report, 2004, p. 69).


Detailed SOW language is also a necessary prerequisite for ensuring proper vetting, pre-deployment preparation, and integration of contracted support. The Army's Abu Ghraib investigation noted that 35 percent of the contract interrogators originally employed at Abu Ghraib lacked experience as interrogators, and none had received training on Geneva Conventions or rules of engagement for treatment of detainees (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 51). The lack of pre-deployment training placed contract personnel "at a higher risk of violating Army policies and doctrine, and decreasing intelligence yield" to the support units (DoD, Detainee Operations Inspection, 2004, p. 87). Furthermore, military supervisors in receiving units generally had little or no control over the vetting and pre-deployment process for arriving contractors and "knew little of their [contractors'] individual backgrounds or experience and relied on higher headquarters to screen them before arrival. Such screening was not occurring" (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 40). The Army determined that the subsequent integration of these contractors without proper training and certification "created ineffective interrogation teams and the potential for non-compliance with doctrine and applicable laws" (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 18).

Similar pre-screening problems were also cited in the review of the initial operations at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. Many of the contract linguists supporting the intelligence operations had no experience with military interrogation techniques or intelligence methodologies. Although contract linguists were vetted for basic language proficiency Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language. As theories vary among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency[1], there is little consistency as to how different organisations , some of their skills sets were not appropriately matched against required duties for interrogators as the operational demands became more specific and mission requirements evolved.

Recent policy changes outlining a revised selection process, training, and certification have addressed some of these early problems with contractor integration. Currently, all DoD contract interrogators must have previously received some training on military interrogation techniques or possess equivalent educational or professional experience. Furthermore, all contract interrogators must now receive training on approved interrogation procedures, Geneva-Hague Convention, and Law of Land Warfare, and are subject to extraterritorial jurisdiction Extraterritorial jurisdiction or ETJ is the legal ability of a government to exercise authority beyond its normal boundaries.

Any authority can of course claim ETJ over any external territory they wish.
 for any violations of procedures occurring in the performance of their duties (Kimmons, 2006).

In addition to pre-deployment training, contract personnel involved with intelligence support services must also be pre-screened to determine eligibility for necessary security clearances. During recent operations, some deployed contractors holding only interim clearances were unable to serve in assigned duty functions while awaiting final clearance adjudication The legal process of resolving a dispute. The formal giving or pronouncing of a judgment or decree in a court proceeding; also the judgment or decision given. The entry of a decree by a court in respect to the parties in a case. , a situation resulting in wasted government resources and work backlogs for the supported unit. This problem was partly attributable to unmonitored vendors who did not adequately pre-screen their employees, resulting in deployed personnel unable to pass the required background checks. During the initial phases of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq approximately 30-40 percent of linguist lin·guist  
1. A person who speaks several languages fluently.

2. A specialist in linguistics.

[Latin lingua, language; see
 candidates provided by DoD vendors never received final clearances for work on intelligence-related missions (Voelz, 2006, p. 76). Recent rules changes to the DFARS DFARS Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement
DFARS DoD Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement
 now stipulate stip·u·late 1  
v. stip·u·lat·ed, stip·u·lat·ing, stip·u·lates
a. To lay down as a condition of an agreement; require by contract.

 that "all required security and background checks be complete and acceptable" prior to deployment, but given the enormous backlog of background investigations this requirement still presents an enormous challenge for contracting officers as they try to project support estimates for rapidly changing mission requirements (DFARS, 48 C.F.R. Pt. 252.225-7040 (h), 2004).

To effectively utilize such commercial augmentation, contracting authorities must have a clear understanding of the operational environment, mission objectives, special skills, clearance requirements, and the pre-deployment training expectations of the supported unit. These details must be clearly outlined in the initial Request for Proposal and explicitly articulated in the SOW language so vendors are able to prescreen pre·screen  
tr.v. pre·screened, pre·screen·ing, pre·screens
1. To view (a movie) before release for public showing.

 personnel best suited for the mission requirements. Finally, contract language must clearly provide the government with a mechanism to remove and replace any contractor that does not meet the performance expectations established in the SOW.


One of the major challenges of utilizing commercial augmentation for intelligence operations arises from the generally poor understanding of contract management procedures among military commanders. A GAO review of Army contract management procedures during recent operations noted generally "inadequate training for staff responsible for overseeing contractors and limited awareness by many field commanders of all contractor activities taking place in their area of operations An operational area defined by the joint force commander for land and naval forces. Areas of operation do not typically encompass the entire operational area of the joint force commander, but should be large enough for component commanders to accomplish their missions and protect their " (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-03-695, 2003, Executive Summary). A separate report on management procedures for intelligence support in Iraq found that "the Army officials responsible for overseeing the contractor, for the most part, lacked knowledge of contracting issues and were not aware of their basic duties and responsibilities" (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-05-201, 2005, p. 1).

Part of the challenge in preparing military leaders for contract management responsibilities is exemplified by guidelines provided in the Army's own doctrinal doc·tri·nal  
Characterized by, belonging to, or concerning doctrine.

doctri·nal·ly adv.

Adj. 1.
 manual, noting that "there is no specifically identified force structure nor detailed policy on how to establish contractor management oversight within an AOR AOR

The ISO 4217 currency code for Angolan Reajustado Kwanza.
 [area of responsibility]. Consolidated contractor management is the goal, but reality is that it has been, and continues to be, accomplished through a rather convoluted convoluted /con·vo·lut·ed/ (kon?vo-lldbomact´ed) rolled together or coiled.  system" (U.S. Army Field Manual (FM) 3-100, 2003). Existing doctrinal guidelines for managing deployed contractors were described by one recent GAO report as "inconsistent and sometimes incomplete" (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-03-695, 2003, p. 1). An independent investigation of OIF interrogation operations reinforced this finding, noting that "oversight of contractor personnel and activities was not sufficient to ensure intelligence operations fell within the law and the authorized au·thor·ize  
tr.v. au·thor·ized, au·thor·iz·ing, au·thor·iz·es
1. To grant authority or power to.

2. To give permission for; sanction:
 chain of command" (Independent Panel to Review DoD Detention Operations, Final Report, 2004, p. 69).

While ample doctrinal literature exists on general contract management procedures, there is virtually no guidance that specifically deals with the unique oversight challenges of managing commercial intelligence services. The Abu Ghraib investigations noted that "no doctrine exists to guide interrogators and their intelligence leaders in the contract management or command and control of contractors in a wartime environment" (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 49). The report also pointed out that during recent operations the "interrogators, analysts, and leaders were unprepared for the arrival of contract interrogators and had no training to fall back on in the management, control, and discipline of these personnel" (Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 49).

In addition to a lack of clear doctrinal standards there is also significant confusion among some military supervisors concerning their responsibilities and legal authorities over contract personnel. Recent investigations revealed that intelligence "leaders faced numerous issues involving contract management ... with respect to contractors; roles, relationships, and responsibilities of contract linguists and contract interrogators with military personnel; and the methods of disciplining contractor personnel" (Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 18). In many cases leaders unfamiliar with their management obligations will defer these responsibilities to a vendor's onsite manager for matters such as performance evaluation Performance evaluation

The assessment of a manager's results, which involves, first, determining whether the money manager added value by outperforming the established benchmark (performance measurement) and, second, determining how the money manager achieved the calculated return
, discipline, and oversight requirements--a situation that essentially amounts to vendors providing their own management and evaluation.


Perhaps the most important tool for achieving effective oversight of commercial services is the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR), providing on-site surveillance of the contractor's work. Yet, critical shortages of DoD intelligence personnel have resulted in the lack of formal training in contract administration procedures for many organizational CORs, who in some cases do not serve in close proximity to the site of work performance. Given the habitual shortfalls in training resources, these CORs are often required to learn their skills through "on the job training"; but as the Abu Ghraib investigation noted, "if functions such as these [intelligence] are being contracted, MI [military intelligence] personnel need to have at least a basic level of contract training so they can protect the Army's interests" (Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 51).

A sampling of several ongoing operational support missions suggests a wide variance in procedures and training standards for CORs managing intelligence support contracts. This is due in part to the fact that the specific training requirements for CORs are only vaguely defined by the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), and typically established internally by individual government department or agency. For example, during the first 18 months of operations at the joint detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, no assigned on-site government COR was monitoring contract performance for the linguist and interrogation support personnel (Voelz, 2006, p. 78). The Army investigation of Abu Ghraib revealed similar problems with CORs operating at different locations from the contractor's work, noting that "it is very difficult, if not impossible, to effectively administer a contract when the COR is not on site" (DoD, Office of the IG, AR 15-6 Investigation, Abu Ghraib, 2004, p. 52). A separate investigation into DoD's contract management procedures also determined that "personnel acting as CORs did not, for the most part, have the requisite training and were unaware of the scope of their duties and responsibilities" (U.S. GAO Study, GAO-05-201, 2005, p. 18).

Few deployed DoD intelligence organizations have the dedicated resources for long-term oversight by a single individual. Instead, COR responsibilities are often assigned to intelligence specialists as "additional duty" to be performed adjunct to their primary leadership, analytical, or collection management tasks. Frequent rotations of intelligence personnel only exacerbate the challenge of providing continuity of surveillance. Frequently, when a new COR arrives on site, there remains only limited documentary evidence A type of written proof that is offered at a trial to establish the existence or nonexistence of a fact that is in dispute.

Letters, contracts, deeds, licenses, certificates, tickets, or other writings are documentary evidence.
 of the vendor's previous work that can provide a useful basis for comparative analysis. Commonly, the vendor's site manager will be the only individual with lengthy operational experience at a given location. All of these factors make it extremely difficult for intelligence specialists without specific contract management experience to effectively fulfill their responsibilities as CORs.

Another challenge for inexperienced in·ex·pe·ri·ence  
1. Lack of experience.

2. Lack of the knowledge gained from experience.

 CORs is defining clear performance measures and effective surveillance methodologies to evaluate a vendor's work. For many major DoD contracts, dedicated personnel from the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA DCMA Defense Contract Management Agency
DCMA Dhow Countries Music Academy
DCMA Dade County Medical Association
DCMA Dry Color Manufacturers Association
DCMA Defense Contract Management Association
DCMA Data-Driven Cut-Through Multiple Access
) will oversee a vendor's performance, but these personnel are in critically short supply. Over the past decade, DoD has reduced acquisition management personnel by nearly half while simultaneously more than doubling services contracting (Barr, 2005). As a result, most contracts for operational intelligence support services will be monitored by organizational CORs, in many cases with only limited training in contract surveillance techniques.

Compounding this challenge for inexperienced CORs, few service contracts offer detailed metrics metrics Managed care A popular term for standards by which the quality of a product, service, or outcome of a particular form of Pt management is evaluated. See TQM.  for evaluation of a contractor's performance. SOWs for intelligence and linguistic services will often contain initial qualification criteria, but typically not provide any instruction for skills maintenance programs, developmental training, or periodic reevaluation. Most of the criteria for work evaluation are informal at best with little consideration given to developmental counseling or periodic performance review. These tasks are generally left to the vendor's on-site contract manager, but often occur without sufficient government surveillance.

The difficulty of defining effective evaluation metrics has become even more challenging as the government moves toward greater use of Performance-Based Service Acquisition (PBSA PBSA Phosphate-Buffered Saline
PBSA Professional Bartending Schools of America
PBSA Performance-Based Service Acquisition
PBSA Pension Benefits Standards Act (Canada)
PBSA Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America
). This contracting methodology focuses less on specific process description and more on results-based evaluation where the requiring activity defines specific performance goals, known as a Statement of Objectives, then provides vendors with significant latitude in developing work plans to satisfy the government's needs. The benefit of this approach is that vendors are not bound by a specific SOW description and are free to devise optimal solutions for satisfying the government's needs. DoD has established a goal to award 50% of all acquisition dollars utilizing PBSA methodology by FY 2005 (Bolton, 2004).

While most current operational support contracts for intelligence-related activities Those activities outside the consolidated defense intelligence program that: respond to operational commanders' tasking for time-sensitive information on foreign entities; respond to national intelligence community tasking of systems whose primary mission is support to operating forces;  still employ traditional SOW methodology in which specific labor functions are clear, still somewhat uncertain is how PBSA may be applied for future intelligence support contracts. Although PBSA has clear advantages of leveraging vendor expertise to develop creative solutions to satisfy government needs, this system also places a much greater burden on contracting officers to clearly define mission objectives, conduct careful market research for appropriate vendors, closely manage performance, and evaluate standards of work against the achievement of broad mission objectives. PBSA only increases the necessity of well-trained intelligence professionals closely monitoring and evaluating the contractor's contribution to the overall mission goals. Present deficiencies in contract surveillance practices leave considerable doubt as to the government's ability to adequately utilize these management concepts for sensitive intelligence-related functions, particularly given current shortages of government contracting officers familiar with PBSA methodology (Phillips, 2004). Certainly, even fewer intelligence specialists possess the necessary experience and training to employ these complex management methodologies.


Given that few intelligence specialists possess extensive contract management experience, arming them with general "rules of thumb" is critical in assisting them to make appropriate determinations on the uses of commercial augmentation within their organizations. Due to the sensitive nature of many intelligence support functions, careful consideration must be given to the suitability of private sector augmentation so that public interest is adequately protected. These criteria are not intended as definitive guidelines for validating the applicability of all commercial augmentation programs, but rather serve to highlight some fundamental considerations for effective integration and management of commercial services. These "rules of thumb" offer evaluative criteria in three critical areas: acceptability of private sector involvement, suitability of vendor services, and accountability of contract management procedures.

The enormous intelligence demands of the Global War on Terrorism will require continued reliance on commercial augmentation to satisfy operational requirements. Specialized vendors continue to provide critical skills and services that are not sufficiently resourced within the Intelligence Community and cannot be acquired through traditional government hiring practices. Yet, contract management functions are still not viewed as a core competency A core competency is something that a firm can do well and that meets the following three conditions specified by Hamel and Prahalad (1990):
  1. It provides customer benefits
  2. It is hard for competitors to imitate
  3. It can be leveraged widely to many products and markets.
 among intelligence professionals and frequently misunderstood or neglected by community leaders.

As demonstrated in the preceding discussion, shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.

Shortcomings may also be:
  • Shortcomings (SATC episode), an episode of the television series Sex and the City
 in any aspect of the contract management process may lead to poor integration of commercial services, ineffective oversight, and compromise of government interest. For private sector resources to be effectively leveraged by the Intelligence Community, leaders and acquisition specialists must cooperate to improve management practices and provide adequate training and resources to ensure effective oversight of these highly sensitive Adj. 1. highly sensitive - readily affected by various agents; "a highly sensitive explosive is easily exploded by a shock"; "a sensitive colloid is readily coagulated"  commercial services.


The views expressed in the article are the author's and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.


Acceptability of Private Sector Involvement

* Contract service does not perform inherently governmental functions.

* Contract administration adheres to proper solicitation and award procedures.

* Use of commercial services does not present operational or intelligence security risks.

* Vendor offers a best value alternative (including price and performance standards).

Suitability of Vendor Services

* Vendor offers unique services or products unavailable in the public sector.

* Vendor offers scalability, of service and flexible output to meet mission requirements.

* Contract is negotiated in a mature market environment with in-sector competition.

* Bidder possesses established performance record and known reliability.

Accountability of Contract Management Procedures

* Contract language provides appropriate legal oversight and accountability measures.

* Contract has detailed Statement of Work (SOW) and qualification requirements.

* Contract provides effective contractor integration and training plan.

* Contract offers clear performance measures and evaluation methodology.

* Government possesses appropriately trained on-site contract management personnel.


Alexander, K. B. (2004, April 7). Statement before the Committee on Armed Services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters.  Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, 108th Cong., 2nd session. Retrieved May 2, 2005, from

Apgar, M. & J. Keane. (2004, September). New business with the new military. Harvard Business Review Harvard Business Review is a general management magazine published since 1922 by Harvard Business School Publishing, owned by the Harvard Business School. A monthly research-based magazine written for business practitioners, it claims a high ranking business readership and  82(9), 45-56.

Barr, S. (2005, May 30). Defense bills push for stricter contract procedures. Washington Retrieved June 4, 2005, from http://www.washingtonpost. com/wpdyn/content/article/2005/05/29/AR2005052900991.html

Bolton, C. M. (2004, March 10). Performance based service acquisition. (Memorandum). Washington, DC: Department of the Army.

Cooper, M. H. (2004, June 25). Privatizing the military. CQ Researcher 14(24), 568-587.

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement. (1998). Retrieved from

Department of Defense. (2004). Office of the Inspector General Office of the Inspector General (or OIG) is a common sub-agency within cabinet-level agencies of the United States federal government and serves as auditing and investigative arm of the agency's programs focused on identifying waste, fraud and abuse. . AR 15-6 Investigation of Abu Ghraib Prison The Abu Ghraib prison (Arabic: سجن أبو غريب; also Abu Ghurayb) is in Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city 32 km (20 mi) west of Baghdad.  and the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. Retrieved August 25, 2004, from

Department of Defense. (2004, March 18). Office of the Inspector General. Contracts awarded for the Coalition Provisional Authority by the Defense Contracting Command--Washington, Report No. D-2004-057 (PDF). Retrieved September 30, 2004, from 04057sum.htm

Department of Defense. (2004, July 21). Detainee operations inspection. Retrieved August 16, 2004, from ArmyIGDetaineeAbuse

Department of Interior. (2004, July 16). Office of the Inspector General. Review of 12 procurements placed under General Services Administration Federal Supply Schedules 70 and 871 by the National Business Center. Washington, DC: DOI (Digital Object Identifier) A method of applying a persistent name to documents, publications and other resources on the Internet rather than using a URL, which can change over time.  Publication.

Independent Panel to Review DoD Detention Operations. (2004, August). Final report of the independent panel to review DoD detention operations. Retrieved August 24, 2004, from

Kimmons, J. E (2006, March 7). Contract interrogator in·ter·ro·gate  
tr.v. in·ter·ro·gat·ed, in·ter·ro·gat·ing, in·ter·ro·gates
1. To examine by questioning formally or officially. See Synonyms at ask.

 selection, training, and certification requirements. (Memorandum). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Army.

Makinson, L. (2004, September). Outsourcing the Pentagon. The Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved September 30, 2004, from

Phillips, Zack. (2004, November 17). Performance-based contracts gaining popularity--but is the government ready to use them? Retrieved March 17, 2005, from CQ Homeland Security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security

executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States
 digital archive, a subscription, fee-based service at

Pincus, W. (2006, May 7). Lawmakers want more data on contracting out intelligence. Washington Retrieved May 7, 2006, from http://www.

Shorrock, T. (2005, January-February). The spy who billed me. Mother Jones. Retrieved March 8, 2005, from outfront/2005/01/12_400.html

Tiron, R. (2003, September). Army not equipped to manage contractors on the battlefield. National Defense 88(598), 32.

U.S. Army Central Command. (2002, September). Operation Enduring Freedom: Afghanistan, Army Central Command Combined Armed Assessment Team (CAAT) Initial Impressions Report 2002, Leavenworth: Center for Army Lessons Learned. Chapter 3: Intelligence Operations, pp. 43-67. Available through the Center for Army Lessons Learned digital archive at Documents stored in this archive are unclassified un·clas·si·fied  
1. Not placed or included in a class or category: unclassified mail.

 but can not be publicly accessed without DoD user identification.

U.S. Army. (2003, January). Contractors on the battlefield. Field Manual (FM 3-100). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Army.

U.S. Government Accountability Office Study. (2005, April). Interagency in·ter·a·gen·cy  
Involving or representing two or more agencies, especially government agencies.
 contracting: Problems with DoD's and Interior's orders to support military operations (GAO-05-201). Retrieved May 11, 2005, from d05201high.pdf

U.S. Government Accountability Office Study. (2003, June). Military operations: Contractors provide vital services to deployed forces but are not adequately addressed in DoD plans (GAO-03-695). Retrieved October 13, 2004, from

Voelz, Glenn J. (2006). Managing the private spies spies  
Plural of spy.

Third person singular present tense of spy.
: The use of commercial augmentation for intelligence operations. (Discussion Paper No. 14). Washington, DC: Center for Strategic Intelligence Research.


MAJ Glenn James Voelz, USA is an Army intelligence officer currently serving as the executive assistant to the director for intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Previously, he served as the joint intelligence advisor to Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and Aviation, responsible for industrial security oversight of U.S. Security Assistance Programs, intelligence training, and doctrinal development for the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces. MAJ Voelz is a graduate of the United States Military Academy United States Military Academy, at West Point, N.Y.; for training young men and women to be officers in the U.S. army; founded and opened in 1802. The original act provided that the Corps of Engineers stationed at West Point should constitute a military academy, but  at West Point and holds master's degrees master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.

Noun 1.
 from the University of Virginia and the National Defense Intelligence College.

(E-mail address See Internet address.

e-mail address - electronic mail address
: An Internet address domain name for a military agency. See Internet address.

(networking) mil - The top-level domain for entities affiliated with US armed forces.
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Date:Dec 1, 2007
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