UPDATED -- Jan 10, 2020: On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary Ellen M. Lord provided PSC with a response to our letter. To date, PSC has not received a response from the State Department.
PSC Calls for Increased Coordination with Industry on Threats
Preparedness Is Critical to Government Contractor Operations
PSC applauds Under Secretary Lord’s acknowledgment of the department’s commitment to the safety of its total force, including contractors.
Arlington, Va. (Jan. 8, 2020) The Professional Services Council (PSC) asked the Departments of Defense and State to increase coordination and improve communications with industry on issues of operational risks and personnel safety for U.S. government contractors, especially those working overseas. In a letter
to Secretaries Esper and Pompeo, PSC called for a joint public statement from the two that adds contractors to the increased threat alerts already issued for military and civilian personnel and their families.
“While we cannot yet link the recent attacks in Kenya directly to the increased threat of retaliation from Iran or its proxies, these events show the increased risks faced by U.S. Government contractors,” said David Berteau, PSC’s Chief Executive Officer and President. “Contractors serve a vital role and support critical missions, and we believe DoD and the State Department should increase their public focus on sharing with contractors all relevant information.”
The letter follows the attack on the defense base at Manda Bay in Kenya, which resulted in two U.S. contractor deaths and the destruction of contractor aircraft. The attack comes shortly after the death of another American contractor in Kirkuk, Iraq, on December 27, 2019.
“The contractor community works alongside their government counterparts to protect our national security and help the government achieve mission success at home and abroad,” Berteau continued. “Recent attacks show that contractor employees remain vulnerable, particularly those who live and work outside of military installations. The government has a duty to maximize the information it shares with companies and workers and to update that information as often as necessary and appropriate. Companies need this information to prepare and protect their employees.”
In addition to the letter, PSC encouraged its members and all affected contractors to take appropriate actions to prepare for the increased threat environment.
Director, Media Relations
PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC’s more than 400 member companies represent small, medium and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks
. To learn more, visit www.pscouncil.org