SECURITY OUTSOURCING--ADJUSTING THE NEW RULES FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OVERSEAS PRIVATE SECURITY CONTRACTOR PROCUREMENT SYSTEM Open Access
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Over the past decade of armed conflict in the Middle East, the United States increased its use of Private Security Companies (PSC) to fill capability security voids. The increase in security demands led to expanding PSC contracts to areas abroad that were not tied to the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of State (DOS) contracted with PSCs to guard its embassies and diplomatic missions, while the Department of Defense (DOD) contracted with PSCs to provide guards for its overseas installations. The DOD's prime contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan often subcontracted for security services to deal with the increased hazards of the conflicts. While the demand for PSC contracts went up, procedural planning and oversight of these contracts lagged behind. A statutory and regulatory framework now exists that requires the DOD to develop procedures and rules for PSCs performing during combat operations and other significant military operations. The PSC legislative and regulatory regimes should be expanded to overseas strategic sites, like overseas military installations and diplomatic missions. The federal government should consolidate the PSC regulatory mandates under a single, uniform system to increase efficiencies and consistencies over PSC contracts. Finally, enforcement mechanisms should be expanded to provide efficient and timely oversight to the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCC) that contract with PSCs. These mechanisms, together with a uniform PSC system, will ensure a transparent enforcement system that promotes fairness, sound judgment and efficiency.