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Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative – APPERI

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Federal government of the United States

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts


ACLU

By Devon Chaffee

July 12, 2012

Last month the ACLU released a joint report with Yale Law SchoolVictims of Complacency, that documents the ongoing trafficking, forced labor and abuse of foreign workers hired through U.S. government contracts to work in support of U.S. military and diplomatic missions abroad. Recruited from impoverished villages in countries such as India, Nepal and the Philippines, these men and women – known as Third Country Nationals – are charged exorbitant recruitment fees, lied to about what country they will be taken to and how much they will be paid, and often have no choice but to live and work in unacceptable and unsafe conditions.  These abuses amount to modern day slavery; all on the U.S. tax payers’ dime. Now members of Congress want to act to ensure that federal funds are no longer facilitating such exploitative, abusive and illegal practices.

To help put an end to this trafficking and forced labor under contracts funded by the federal government, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D- CT) and Representative James Lankford (R-OK)) have introduced the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012. The bill has strong bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate. This means that even during an election year with heightened partisan tensions in Congress, the bill is one of a handful of measures that has a good chance of becoming law. Recently, the Republican-controlled House adopted the provision—without opposition—as an amendment to a larger defense authorization bill.

The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 will significantly increase oversight and accountability for employee recruitment under U.S. government contracts preformed abroad.  Currently many large U.S.-based government contractors refuse to take responsibility for the recruitment policies of their subcontractors that hire recruiters which in turn use fraudulent and illegal hiring practices to increase their profits. The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 works to address this issue by requiring all U.S. government contractors performing a substantial amount of their contract overseas to ensure that their subcontractors and the recruitment agencies they use comply with U.S. anti-trafficking laws, policies and practices. The bill also increases accountability by increasing reporting requirements and extending criminal prohibitions against fraudulent labor practices, including trafficking and forced labor, to contractors and subcontractors working overseas.

The Obama administration has long had a “zero tolerance” policy against human trafficking based on U.S. government contracts, but to date that policy has not been effectively implemented.  As documented in “Victims of Complacency” and numerous other government and non-governmental reports, hundreds of men and women have been trafficked on to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan where they have been subjected to forced labor and other abusive treatment by U.S. government contractors and sub-contractors.  Yet, our government has failed to fully investigate these allegations; nor has it prosecuted or taken administrative action against a single contractor for involvement in such abuses. The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012 is an important step towards making “zero tolerance” a reality, and to bringing an end to an unacceptable chain of profits based on trafficking, forced labor and taxpayer dollars.

Ethiopian Public Procurement Law applicable only to the private sector


Ethiopian Legal Brief

By Abrham Yohannes

February 16th, 2012

In developing countries like Ethiopia, the provision of services to the citizen is one of the central functions of government. To fully realize it’s in providing services which meet the standard of the best quality, but at the same time with the minimum cost, the government in Ethiopia, uses the best mechanisms available, which may generally be categorized in to two. First, in areas where the private sector is considered to be at an infant stage, the government directly involves itself in the management and operation of the provision of services. The provision of electricity, telecommunication and water for instance, is under the exclusive control of government. Second, in areas which do not require direct involvement of the government, the provision of public services will be realized by involving the private sector for carrying out works and providing goods and services. Even in the second case, the government is not totally out of the picture. Public enterprises and other government business organizations equally participate in this process. Similarly, the direct provision of services by the government, to some extent allows the participation of the private sector. To a certain degree, the private sector plays a role in carrying out public works and providing goods and services in areas under the exclusive control of the government.

Irrespective of the role played and the level of participation of the government or the private sector, the provision of the best quality of services with a minimum cost, requires an efficient and effective system of public procurement. “Public procurement is a central instrument to ensure an efficient management of public resources. Promoting good governance in public acquisition system aims at providing best value to its citizens through processes that are transparent and results-oriented.”

Irrespective of variations in the existing political, economic and legal environment peculiar to a specific country, an efficient and effective system of public procurement is ultimately built upon four basic pillars: procurement laws and regulations, procurement workforce, procurement process and methods, and procurement organizational structure. Ideally, procurement laws and regulations should be clear, consistent, comprehensive, and flexible. (Khi V. Thai, procurement: concepts and practices, in International handbook of public procurement ed. Khi V. Thai p6-9).

Generally speaking, the regulatory framework of public procurement as tool in the formulation and implementation of an effective and efficient system of public procurement should be guide by some internationally accepted basic principles. These principles are: transparency, accountability, objectivity, fairness and non-discrimination.

The principle of transparency helps to attract a greater number of participation, thereby encouraging competitiveness. It also makes the whole procurement process open and fair, thus avoiding the possibility of favoritism and discrimination. Transparency also makes it easy for procuring entities and officials to be accountable. Most importantly, it is an effective tool to curb corruption.

The Ethiopian procurement law is still at an infant stage. In recent years, the Federal government has taken measures to revise the existing law, so as to make it responsive to the growth and expansion of the quantity and quality of provision of public services. Each year, a significant portion of public money is allocated as a result of  award of contracts for the construction of public works, supply of goods and provision of services…Read more.

Nigeria: Jonathan orders screening of contractors


Vanguard

By Rotimi Ajayi

October 20, 2011

In a bid to reduce corruption and non-performing contracts in the Federal Civil Service, President Goodluck Jonathan  has ordered comprehensive screening of contractors and service providers for the Federal Government.

The directive was said to have been issued following a review meeting with some members of the National Economic Management Team after the recent retreat with members of the Organized Private Sectors where it was agreed that there was need to put sanity to awards of Federal Government contracts and jobs.

An indication towards the implementation of the Presidential directive was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

The statement issued by the Director General of the Bureau, Emeka Ezeh, pointed out that arrangements had been concluded to commence registration, categorisation and classification of all Federal Government contractors, consultants and service providers.

The Director-General stated that the project would revolutionise government procurement process and encourage more transparency and efficiency in the procurement process.

According to him, the objective of the database is to register, classify and categorize contractors, consultants and service providers as a platform of verification by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), other entities, and interested organisations. It will also ensure that contractors, consultants and service providers of equal competencies and capabilities bid for specific jobs.

He added that the project would create an electronic interface with stakeholders and deepen the capacities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and their leaderships to attain full compliance with the provisions of the Act in order to positively transform the economy of Nigeria.

He said, “the usefulness of the Act in Government’s obvious responsibilities, particularly in implementing strategic and sustainable plans to develop infrastructural facilities cannot be overemphasized. This is not just to fulfil a basis responsibility of government but also in order to attain the proposed Vision 20:2020.

“The benefits of the procurement reform process importantly correlate with the present administration’s transformation agenda.  This agenda, as articulated by government seeks to vigorously implement the initiatives or programmes that will enhance the Administration’s strategic plans for Economic Growth.

“The ultimate objective of the Bureau is to ensure that all Federal procurements are strictly done in compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and that all ongoing projects are in line with sectoral targets and priorities. It is when viable ongoing projects are adequately funded, completed and commissioned that the populace will be the better for it.”

Globecomm Awarded $74.1 Million Contract From a U.S. Government Agency


MarketWatch

PRESS RELEASE

August 4, 2011

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Aug 04, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Globecomm Systems Inc. GCOM -2.57% , a leading global provider of communications solutions and services, announced today that the Company has been awarded a contract from a U.S. Government Agency. The contract is valued at $74.1 million with options for additional quantities and services. Globecomm will lead this effort for the U.S. Government providing program management and services. The L-3 Narda Satellite Networks (L-3 Narda), division of L-3 Communications will work with Globecomm as a subcontractor.

Thomas Coyle, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Globecomm Systems Inc., said: “This is a very important contract for Globecomm and we are very pleased to be working with L-3 Narda to further extend our relationship from other projects. While the competitive landscape for this procurement dictated a reduction from our normally demonstrated margins, we are excited to have the opportunity to become a major supplier in a new market and to work closely with L-3.

Gene Kelly, President of L-3 Narda, said: “Narda provides a wide array of transit cased transportable tactical earth stations, antennas and electronics subsystems for the US Government. We are very proud to be part of the Globecomm team to provide this vital capability.”

About L-3 Narda Satellite Networks

Hauppauge-based L-3 Narda Satellite Networks is a leading global satellite communications systems and services provider, offering systems and services used in satellite transmission of voice, video and data. To learn more about L-3 Narda Satellite Networks, please visit the company’s web site at http://www.L-3com.com/satellitenetworks .

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs approximately 61,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in C(3)ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, aircraft modernization and maintenance, and government services. L-3 is also a leading provider of a broad range of electronic systems used on military and commercial platforms. The company reported 2010 sales of $15.7 billion. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company’s website at http://www.L-3com.com .

About Globecomm Systems

Globecomm Systems Inc., or Globecomm, is a leading global provider of satellite-based managed network solutions. Employing our expertise in emerging communication technologies we are able to offer a comprehensive suite of system integration, system products, and network services enabling a complete end-to-end solution for our customers. We believe our integrated approach of in-house design and engineering expertise combined with a world-class global network and our 24 by 7 network operating centers provides us a unique competitive advantage. We are now taking this value proposition to selective vertical markets, including government, wireless, media, enterprise, and maritime. As a network solution provider we leverage our global network to provide customers managed access services to the United States Internet backbone, video content, the public switched telephone network or their corporate headquarters, or government offices. We currently have customers for which we are providing such services in the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Based in Hauppauge, New York, Globecomm Systems also maintains offices in Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.

This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and observations. You should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements because the matters they describe are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Our forward-looking statements are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date of this press release. Over time, our actual results, performance or achievements may differ from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, and such difference might be significant and materially adverse to our security holders. We have identified some of the important factors that could cause future events to differ from our current expectations and they are described in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Report of Form 10-Q, including without limitation under the captions ”Risk Factors” and ”Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and in other documents that we may file with the SEC, all of which you should review carefully. Please consider our forward-looking statements in light of those risks as you read this press release.

SOURCE: Globecomm Systems Inc.

        For Globecomm Investor Relations information:
        Matthew Byron, 631-457-1301
        Senior Vice President, Corporate Office IR/M&A
        ir@globecommsystems.com
        or
        Company Information:
        Globecomm Systems Inc.
        45 Oser Avenue
        Hauppauge, NY 11788
        Phone: 631-231-9800; Fax: 631-231-1557


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