Report | April 8, 2022

Followup Evaluation of Report No. DODIG-2019-088, “Evaluation of DoD Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Kuwait,” June 11, 2019 (DODIG-2022-082)

Evaluation

Publicly Released: April 12, 2022

 

Objective

The objective of this followup evaluation was to determine whether the DoD implemented corrective actions for report recommendations in DODIG-2019-088, “Evaluation of DoD Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Kuwait,” June 11, 2019 (the 2019 report).

 

Background

National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 22 established the goal of eradicating international trafficking in persons (TIP) and established a zero‑tolerance policy for U.S. Government employees and contractors. Public Law 115‑425, section 112, “Ensuring United States procurement does not fund human trafficking,” discusses agency requirements to ensure that the acquisition workforce and agency officials understand how to implement CTIP-related laws and regulations. Title XVII of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “Ending Trafficking in Government Contracting,” discusses the requirements for contracting, monitoring, and investigating for compliance with TIP laws and guidance.

DoD Instruction 2200.01 was issued to implement NSPD 22 and Title XVII of the FY 2013 NDAA. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) was updated in 2015 to require that all Government contracts include FAR clause 52.222‑50, “Combating Trafficking in Persons [CTIP]” (the FAR CTIP clause). The FAR CTIP clause prohibits contractors, contractor employees, and their agents from practices associated with TIP, such as withholding passports, charging recruitment fees, or providing wages and housing below host-nation standards.

The 2019 report, which included 22 recommendations, focused on the DoD organizations with the largest-value contracts on military installations in Kuwait or those installations that had a previous history of known TIP problems. The 2019 report found the following:

  • the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) did not consistently implement or enforce CTIP requirements in Kuwait (Finding A);
  • DoD personnel did not consistently issue and administer contracts for goods and services in Kuwait in compliance with CTIP requirements (Finding B);
  • DoD contracting organizations lacked a process for determining Kuwaiti labor law requirements (Finding C); and
  • the 408th Contracting Support Brigade internally filled the need for specialized CTIP contract surveillance (Finding D).

 

The 2019 report also determined that no single DoD organization had oversight of all DoD contracts in Kuwait or had sole responsibility for contractors’ compliance with CTIP requirements. Of the 22 recommendations in the June 2019 report, 8 were unresolved, 13 were resolved and open, and 1 was closed.

 

Findings

The U.S. Army Contracting Command-Rock Island (ACC‑RI), the U.S. Air Forces Central (USAFCENT), and the Executive Director of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) implemented actions that met the intent of 14 of the 22 recommendations from our 2019 report.

One recommendation for AAFES to update its policy to allow for enhanced TIP monitoring was closed prior to publishing the 2019 report. The DoD OIG followup review team further determined that one of the eight unresolved recommendations—for AAFES to develop a process or resource for definitively determining Kuwaiti labor law requirements that allow for tailored TIP monitoring—was clarified and resolved by the DoD General Counsel after the 2019 report was published but prior to this report. That recommendation is now closed. However, 8 of the 22 recommendations from our 2019 report have not been fully implemented.

The followup review team found the following:

  • DoD Instruction 2200.01 and Central Command Regulation 570-4 were revised to assign roles and responsibilities to commands regarding CTIP.
  • USCENTCOM reports known CTIP cases to the CTIP Program Management Office (PMO).
  • USCENTCOM does not need to formally designate a command headquarters in Kuwait to be responsible for CTIP compliance.
  • ACC-RI and USAFCENT generally improved their CTIP program efforts by updating policy and communicating CTIP program efforts to their contracting community, specifically through training. However, ACC‑RI and USAFCENT contracting officers did not ensure that:
    • the FAR CTIP clause and Alternate I FAR CTIP clause, or other required CTIP information in DoD contracts, was included and updated;
    • every service contract that had a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) described how Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) would monitor the contractor’s compliance with the FAR CTIP clauses; and
    • contractor past performance data related to TIP was appropriately entered into the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS).
  • The Air Force also did not include CTIP-related guidance in policies intended to support implementing and developing targeted TIP monitoring. Also, the Air Force did not show how its CTIP program was tailored to the Kuwait operational environment.
  • The DoD General Counsel opined that the appropriate process for providing legal guidance for contractor compliance with relevant Kuwaiti labor laws is already in place. However, the followup team’s analysis of 46 contracts found that none of the contracts addressed the specifics of Kuwaiti labor law, especially with regard to the Alternate I CTIP FAR clause for contracts performed outside of the United States.

 

Recommendations

Prior to starting this followup evaluation, the DoD OIG closed 3 of the 22 recommendations from our 2019 report. However, in this followup evaluation, we determined that those 3 recommendations should not have been closed. Specifically, recommendations from the original report to USAFCENT related to completing the Alternate I CTIP FAR clause, including CTIP-related information and monitoring guidance in QASPs and entering contractor past performance information into the CPARS, are being reopened. A total of 8 recommendations from the original evaluation are considered open. We also made recommendations that the Commander of Army Contracting Command-Rock Island and the Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central provide verification that the contracts we reviewed during this followup evaluation, listed in Appendixes F and G of this report, contain updated CTIP clauses, with a specific emphasis on the Alternate I CTIP clause, and inclusion of specific Kuwaiti labor law requirements to allow for tailored TIP monitoring.

 

Management Comments and Our Response

The Commander of Army Contracting CommandRock Island agreed with the recommendation to provide verification that QASPs are prepared for all contracts that require them and that appropriate methods for monitoring the contractor’s performance regarding TIP are included.

The Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central agreed with the recommendations to provide documentation to demonstrate that it has incorporated CTIP guidance in existing policies, such as the U.S. Air Forces Central Contracting Policy and Guidance Handbook, tailored to contracts performed in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

The Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central agreed with the recommendations to include direction in contracts for monitoring contractor compliance of CTIP, to include the Alternate I CTIP FAR clause, in order to surveil contracts for CTIP prohibited activities and violations, especially as they relate to Kuwaiti labor laws, and verify that contracting officer’s representatives accomplish and document proper monitoring of contractor compliance with DoD CTIP regulations.

The Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central agreed with the recommendations to ensure that QASPs are prepared for all contracts that require them and include appropriate methods for monitoring the contractor’s performance regarding trafficking in persons and document in the contract file how monitoring for compliance with the CTIP clause will be accomplished, and by whom, if a contract does not require a QASP.

The Commander of Army Contracting CommandRock Island and the Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central agreed with the recommendation to provide documentation to demonstrate that contractor past performance information, including a documented CTIP review, both positive and negative, is entered promptly into CPARS.

The Commander of Army Contracting CommandRock Island and the Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central also agreed to provide verification that the contracts we reviewed during this followup evaluation contain updated CTIP clauses, with a specific emphasis on the Alternate I CTIP clause, and inclusion of specific Kuwaiti labor law requirements to allow for tailored TIP monitoring. Management comments addressed our recommendations; therefore, the recommendations are resolved and will remain open. We will close the recommendations once we verify that the information provided and actions taken by management fully addressed the recommendations.

 

This report is the result of Project No. D2020-DEV0PA-0183.000.