June 24, 2008

AEY hearings in the House

The New York Times reports:

Arms Dealer Had Troubled History

By ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — When the Army last year awarded a contract worth up to nearly $300 million to a tiny Miami Beach munitions dealer to supply ammunition to Afghanistan’s security forces, it overlooked a very checkered past.

A Congressional committee revealed Tuesday that by the time the Army awarded the bid, State and Defense Department officials had canceled or delayed at least six earlier contracts with the company, AEY Inc., for poor quality or late deliveries.

But that record, including a botched $5.6 million order for 10,000 Beretta pistols for Iraq’s security forces, was either ignored or omitted from databases that American military contracting officials have used to weed out companies suspected of involvement in suspect arms deals.

Congressional investigators also determined that the Afghanistan ammunition contract, which the company is also accused of mishandling, may have been unnecessary: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania, the Eastern European countries from which AEY bought its ammunition, had offered to donate the type of Soviet-style rifle and machine-gun cartridges that the Afghan Army and police forces use. …

House investigators have also gathered testimony that the American ambassador to Albania, John L. Withers II, helped cover up the illegal Chinese origins of ammunition that AEY was shipping from Albania to Afghanistan under the Army contract. …

Lawmakers also criticized the government officials for failing to review several AEY contracts that had been canceled or delayed, many of which never raised red flags with contracting officials because they fell under the $5 million contract value that was the warning threshold.

In October 2005, the committee report found, AEY delivered a shipment of damaged helmets to the American training command in Iraq. One American inspector said in an e-mail message obtained by the committee: “The helmets came to Abu Ghraib by mistake. They are not very good. They have peeling paint and a few appear to have been damaged such as having been dropped.”

About the same time, AEY failed to deliver more than 10,000 Beretta pistols under contract to Iraqi security forces.

According to the contracting officer, Mr. Diveroli blamed the delays in part on a plane crash that had destroyed important documents and a hurricane that hit Miami. …

Back when he worked for his uncle's Botach Tactical weapons dealership in Los Angeles and angry customers would call up wondering where the M-16 clips they had paid for were, Diveroli probably blamed delays on an earthquake that hit LA.

House investigators determined that Melanie A. Johnson, a contracting officer with the Army Sustainment Command, had overruled a contracting team that raised concerns about AEY’s inexperience and had concluded that there was “substantial doubt” that the company could fulfill the contract.

Investigators said Ms. Johnson had later acknowledged to them that she was unaware of the poor past performance of AEY, including the Beretta contract, when she awarded the company the Afghan bid.

In case you're wondering why federal bureaucrats would fall for an obvious New York camera store-style bait-and-switch operator like Diveroli, keep in mind that Jimmy Carter threw out the federal civil service exam back in January 1981 for "disparate impact" and it's never been fully replaced.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

11 comments:

LomaAlta said...

Your statement "In case you're wondering why federal bureaucrats would fall for an obvious New York camera store-style bait-and-switch operator like Diveroli, keep in mind that Jimmy Carter threw out the federal civil service exam back in January 1981 for "disparate impact" and it's never been fully replaced."

This explains it all. There is no exception to the rule that only merit hiring, promotions, etc. result in meritorius people and actions. Nice post.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
part of my job as an Air Force attorney is to discipline and remove "problem" employees from Federal service. Every base and office is honeycombed with incompetent civilians that somehow manage to stay on or get promoted through the ranks. The result is to have disruptive malcontents that try to immunize their misconduct by filing EEO complaints.

Getting rid of the civil service exams removed the filter that kept bad employees out, but it is the EEO and MSPB systems that help keep the dead wood in.

joy of diversity said...

A Congressional committee revealed Tuesday that by the time the Army awarded the bid, State and Defense Department officials had canceled or delayed at least six earlier contracts with the company, AEY Inc., for poor quality or late deliveries.

Six times? And the Army awarded the bid anyway?

Goyishe Kop: (n) (Yiddish) "Gentile head", usually said of a Jew who is not thinking well or has cockamamie ideas. Often contrasted with Yiddishe Kop -- "Jewish smarts."

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Humor/Jokes_Set_6/jokes_set_6.html

Svigor said...

Jimmy Carter threw out the federal civil service exam back in January 1981 for "disparate impact" and it's never been fully replaced.

Okay, I'm a little slow so bear with me, but it only just occurred to me that Michael Levin's argument that race-realism is a moral duty (because the establishment has accused whites of responsibility for black failure) has wider application than I thought; people have a moral duty to challenge equalitarianism because things like "disparate impact" are hinged to it. So the next time some whiner asks why you're so mean, you have an easy answer. All independent of blacks per se.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

Getting rid of the civil service exams removed the filter that kept bad employees out, but it is the EEO and MSPB systems that help keep the dead wood in."

Right you are. And I suspect that the EEO encourages its charges to file racial grievances, and of course the very fact that a grievance has been filed is prima facie evidence of "institutional racism". Which all goes to further cement the importance of the EEO. Look, the manager might say, you've got all this racism here - you really need an EEO. Maybe I even need a bigger staff, and need to hire some of my buddies as diversity consultants.

Φ said...

While I'm hardly an expert on federal contracting, I've worked with people who are, and they have told me that federal contracting rules make it very difficult to penalize poor performance on past contracts with prejudicial treatment of future bids. A fraud conviction will do it, but short of that, contracting officers have very little discretion in preemptively rejecting bids from anybody as long as their paperwork is in order.

On top of which, can you imagine the hue and cry resulting from a bid rejection if the reason given was "Jewish bait-and-switch"?

ben tillman said...

Is there any sort of hiring criterion that doesn't have a disparate impact? Seriously, how can Griggs hold up?

Scott said...

How were they able to keep the Foreign Service examination going? It's supposedly extremely difficult...

mnuez said...

Hey Goyische Kups, any a'y'all gonna update your favorite conspiracy theories from some two whole weeks ago?

Whatever happened to Rep. Waxman's Diveroli hearings?

No? Didn't think so.

"Funny how that works."

mnuez

Muswell Hillbilly said...

I'm the labor and employment attorney at a major Army base, and what Anon said about the Air Force is just as true (I suspect more so) in the Army.

There are a lot of dedicated and competent civilians, and then there are large pockets of deadwood, timeserving worthless employees who are canny/experienced enough to not do anything serious enough to get them fired, but who literally do almost no work, and continue to exist and advance in the system through union grievances, EEO complaints, etc.

Anonymous said...

understand now why bechtel get the kukes durres highway bid,and why tom ridge get half a million dollar from Berisha:to cover top albanian autorities traffic of arms with aey...Bush friend's get money from albanian state and albanian prime gets money from arm selling..

and all this is paid by albanian and american taxpayer!
lili