Posts Tagged APPF

Industry Talk: Afghanistan To Disband The APPF!

U.S. Army Col. Jane Crichton, a spokeswoman for the U.S.-led coalition, said there had been no immediate impact on security.
“We are not aware of any decisions or significant changes to support that affect the coalition in the near-term,” she said. “We are evaluating possible courses of action, including providing our own security or using contract security, among others. At present, the APPF is still providing convoy security escorts with no plan to cease.”

This is big, and good riddance. The APPF was a joke from the get go, and more than likely the money earned by this venture was squandered away by a corrupt government–hence why they are disbanding it. Also, I had been getting reports over the last couple weeks from contractors saying that APPF guards were not getting paid and that there was rumor that this was going to happen.

Now the question is, how will this security vacuum be filled? Well, that quote up top says it all. Either these clients will just pack up and go home, or if they decide to stay, they will be requiring contract security. Which I am sure there will be plenty of companies willing to step in and do this.

Although there is one caveat with that statement. The Afghan government has been seizing weapons and communications gear like crazy for the last several years, and it could be very difficult for companies to get that stuff back to do the job. So going back to the corrupt government theme, I could see lease or rental type agreements for weapons or some kind license scheme that will cost oodles of money for companies to get set up.  Who knows, but at least the APPF is going away.

If anyone has other elements to report about this development, let me know in the comments. Especially if security becomes an issue because of the way this has worked out. There is still a war going on and I imagine if APPF guys are just walking off post because they are not getting paid or are fed up with the whole thing, then that will not be cool. What a mess….

It also reminds me of the mess with the TWISS contracts in Iraq. When the Ugandans would not get paid or whatever forces being used were not getting paid, they often had walks offs and labor strikes.  Meaning guards not showing up to posts. Several times, contingencies in Iraq required military folks to step in to do these jobs as labor issues were being handled out in the field. So as this APPF thing develops, I imagine we will see similar acts if they are not getting paid and there is confusion as to who will pay them or whom they work for.

Another point is perhaps they will not like being rolled into the MOI or being made into a military unit or police unit. Perhaps the ANA or ANP will not like having to dip into their budgets to pay for these APPF salaries. Who knows…. –Matt

 

 

Afghanistan to Disband Crucial Guard Force
March 4, 2014
By Nathan Hodge
The Afghan government is moving to dissolve a crucial guard force that protects military supply convoys, international aid programs and foreign installations, creating new uncertainty over security as the U.S. and its allies withdraw.
The Afghan Ministry of Interior said in a statement Monday that Kabul would disband the Afghan Public Protection Force.
While APPF is a government agency, its services are paid for commercially by the clients, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development. It replaced a host of private security contractors.
Top Afghan officials recently issued a directive that would disband the force and fold it into the Ministry of Interior. But U.S. and coalition officials say it is unclear how, exactly, the Afghan government plans to implement this new order—and who will take over the job of protecting internationally funded reconstruction projects.

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Legal News: GardaWorld’s Daniel Ménard Thrown In Afghan Jail

This is an interesting one that just popped up on my radar. I found it yesterday and posted it on Facebook, and I received multiple viewpoints on what is going on. Everything from it is all GardaWorld’s fault and Ménard is incompetent, to Gardaworld and Ménard is yet another victim of the Afghan legal system and corrupt officials.

For this deal, I was instantly reminded by the readership, as well as personally recalling all of Afghanistan’s past legal shenanigans.  Doug mentioned the Bill Shaw story where he was thrown in an Afghan jail on false bribery charges. Trevor mentioned the other GardaWorld story of some contractors that got arrested because they had 30 AK’s on them. Funny that, contractors with guns in a war zone? Of course this story was related to the APPF scheme of seizing the weapons of companies–without paying those companies for said weapons.

Another story mentioned was the arrest of Michael Hearn of Global Strategies Group for not registering their weapons. Those weapons according to the company, were parts guns that were not serviceable, used to repair other AKs.  I am sure there are other incidents that I am forgetting, but you get the idea. Kimberly Motley could probably add something to this conversation because of her extensive dealings with the Afghan legal system.

Some other stories of contractors wrongly thrown in Afghan jails include guys like Phillip Young, who thanks to Kimberly’s work, was set free. Another guy I have written about in the past was Robert Langdon, whom is still rotting away in prison.

The other interesting point on this story is Ménard’s  background. Michael Yon was highly critical of this leader back when he was a general in the Canadian Arm Forces posted in Afghanistan.  But even Michael’s current tone is one of being skeptical as to why he is in an Afghan jail.

I imagine the way this will work out is that he will stay in prison until the company or his family pays the fine. Hopefully he doesn’t stay in prison as long as Bill Shaw. Bill spent two years at Pul-e-Charkhi prison and was fined £16,185! Kimberly was also hot on this case and was instrumental in getting him released. –Matt

Edit: 02/19/2014- Daniel was released from detention. Story here.

 

 

 

Former Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard, the former head of Canadian forces in Afghanistan who now works for private security firm GardaWorld, was detained there since about Jan. 12.
By Allan Woods
Jan 29 2014
Former Canadian brigadier-general Daniel Ménard, who was fined and demoted for having a sexual relationship with a female subordinate, has been sitting in an Afghan jail for nearly three weeks, the Toronto Star has learned.
The former head of Canadian forces in the country, who now works for private security firm GardaWorld, was detained on or about Jan. 12. He was picked up by local authorities after leaving a meeting with Afghan government officials to discuss issues related to the development of Afghan security forces, Joe Gavaghan, a spokesman for the company, said in an interview Wednesday.
“He was leaving a meeting at the ministry office and a couple of officials approached him. They said, ‘We’ve got a problem with something and we’d like you to come with us to clear it up.’ Off he went and the next thing he knew he was going to be detained until they cleared it up.”
Ménard has not been charged with breaking any laws, Gavaghan said, adding the incident is based on an “administrative misunderstanding” related to its licence to operate in Afghanistan as a private security firm.
Gavaghan said the former commander of the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, based out of CFB Valcartier, appeared in a Kabul court Wednesday.
“This involves some kind of administrative issue with our operating licence. It was kind of a technicality. It’s been cleared up and we believe that the individual is going to be released very shortly,” Gavaghan said.
“Right now we’re just trying to do everything we can to make sure there’s no further complications or anything that would delay that.”

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Industry Talk: The APPF On Collecting Revenue

So here are the latest numbers from the APPF, straight from their press releases. I wanted to put this out there as to what these guys are actually making and how much of a government racket this is.
For 2013, they made 5.5 Billion Afghani or in US dollars, that is 98.8 Million! Where that money will go is anyone’s guess. I am sure some will go to pay salaries and what not, but most will probably go into Karzai’s pockets.
Now get this, for 2014 they are already pulling in some serious cash from all the contracts that companies are required to sign with the APPF if they want security. Here is the quote from the press release site.

Press: what is the economical level of this directorate and how effective is it in economical growth of Afghanistan?

Tabish: since beginning of the year 1392 we have received more than 3 billion and hundred and two million Afghani revenue and spent one billion and seven hundred twenty four million Afghani in admin expenditures and delivered one billion three hundred seventy eight million Afghani to government account.

Yep, and yet the APPF has no competition when it comes to performing security. So they can do whatever they want, and there will be no one else that companies can turn to for providing services. So what can go wrong in this kind of set up? How about people getting killed because of poor services rendered? With that said, I invite companies and contractors to share what their thoughts are on the APPF.  –Matt

 

 

5.5 Billion Afghani revenue of current year
30 December 2013
The Afghan public protection force and security enterprise is profit security organization; it is a pay-for-service Afghan government security service provider underneath the Ministry of Interior that protects people, infrastructure, facilities, construction projects and convoys from these activities brings enormous benefit to state treasury.
In order to understand APPF’s gain and revenue generated this year we have prepared an interview with Hashmatullah Latifi business and finance general director of APPF and draw your attention to it.
Q: First brief us information about personnel and activities of business and finance directorate?
A: business and finance directorate works beneath APPF and has three separated departments in its formations, including finance and accounting, logistics and business departments, these departments perform their affairs in various sectors to prevail for example department of business and accounting plans the budget, revenue and expenses and issue personnel salaries, department of logistics provides APPF’s logistical needs and department of business works in contracts related affair with national and international clients.

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Jobs: Risk Management Consultant, Afghanistan

This is interesting. From the sounds of it, TigerSwan is looking to snag an RMC contract. If you go to the APPF website (yes, that group), it requires companies to have risk management consultants or RMCs to work as liaisons between the company and the APPF.

I am not the recruiter for this job and if you want to apply, please follow the links provided below. By the way, this job will only fly if TigerSwan gets the contract. But it helps to get your resume in now if in fact they do win it. If anyone from TigerSwan would like to comment on this position, please do so in the comments. –Matt

 

Position Title: RISK MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
City: Herat
State:
Country: Afghanistan
Date Opened: 07/29/13
Employment Type: Contract
Days Hours:
Benefits:
DAILYRATE RANGE: $338 – $550
CONTINGENT UPON AWARD OF CONTRACT
Provide individualized and collective consultation to clients regarding:
• Personal Security, Individual Security Measures
• Situational Awareness
• Threat and Risk Mitigation
• Mission Planning
• Mobile Security Management
• Mobile Support Site construction and placement
• Sub Contract Guard Services Management
• In Transit Security – Convoy Planning and Control
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Ability to adhere to the requirements of Afghan Law and Regulation
Ability to receive arming authorization under current Department of Defense and CENTCOM regulations
Ability to adhere to The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act which makes it a felony for those convicted of crimes of domestic violence to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition.

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Publications: SIGAR Report–Concerns Remain About APPF’s Capabilities And Costs

Thus, the APPF acts as a monopoly service provider. Although contracted security costs for the majority of projects decreased, the average rate for armed local guard services increased as much as 47 percent for projects under the APPF. These costs could increase even more over time and implementing partners—left with no other options for local armed guard services—would have no choice but to pay the higher prices.

Pretty damning. Basically clients are using RMC’s as standard security providers, all because the APPF is so ineffective. That, and this ineffective force will have a monopoly soon, and will be able to charge whatever they want.

But here is the really bad part of this story. The loss of life because of this poor security force. Check out this quote:

Traders have informed the Wolesi Jirga about the onslaughts on the Kabul-Kandahar highway that have resulted in the death of 6 drivers and burning of 250 trucks with commercial goods over the past 6 months.
According to the Pajhwok Afghan News PAN), businessman Abdul Wali Wardak said their problems had increased after the responsibility of providing security for logistics vehicles was transferred to the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF).
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries Chief Mohammad Qurban Haqjo confirmed the losses and said the APPF has failed to provide the needed security for logistics vehicles and prevent the attacks caused by the insurgents.

Pathetic…. Read the report below if you want to check out SIGAR’s recommendations. –Matt

 

WHAT SIGAR FOUND
The effect of the transition to the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) has been minimal on projects in SIGAR’s sample, but only because implementing partners hired risk management companies (RMCs) to fill APPF capacity gaps and perform critical functions. Without RMCs, the APPF would be unable to provide the full range of security services needed by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) implementing partners. Contracts with implementing partners require the APPF to provide an appropriate number of capable and trained guards, as determined by the APPF in conjunction with the implementing partner, and a sufficient number of properly trained officers and non-commissioned officers to oversee the guards. However, for five projects that use APPF services, RMCs perform critical functions and fill gaps in APPF capabilities in recruiting, training, and supervision. Further, implementing partners reported that APPF officers and non-commissioned officers provided little benefit and were unable to perform required duties.

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Afghanistan: EU To Spend €50mn On Private Security In Afghanistan For The Next 4 Years

Now this is some interesting news with the EU and their EEAS.  I posted earlier this year about another contract they were flying for security, and this one is targeted towards Afghanistan.

Hopefully they can navigate this whole APPF and Decree 62 deal, because they could easily kiss their beloved Page Group security partner (or whomever wins the contract) goodbye if Karzai has his way. Maybe the EU has made some deals to allow them to keep their own security?

I also thought it was interesting that they have narrowed down what companies qualify. Here is the quote:

It is aiming to sign up a big company with prior experience in Afghanistan – the winning bidder must have an annual turnover of at least €20 million and 400 staff. Five companies are eligible to compete – the Hungarian-based Argus, Canada’s Gardaworld, British firms G4S and Page Group, and French company Geos – after getting on an EEAS private security shortlist last year.

My one heartache about this is why aren’t American companies qualified to bid? (like US companies with offices in Europe) I know the US is not a member of the EU, but that doesn’t mean it’s companies are not capable. Because I can think of several who fit the the bill of having ‘annual turnover of at least €20 million and 400 staff‘. The EU is really missing out in my opinion by not contracting with US companies, and it’s not like the US hasn’t contracted with European PMSC’s for DoD or DoS related contracts in the war.

Aegis comes to mind as one current example, and they are actually being contracted to replace AGNA on the KESF contract! lol Either way, we will see how the bidding goes and how they navigate the complexities of Afghanistan security contracting. –Matt

 

EU to spend €50mn on private security in Afghanistan
05/11/2012
By Andrew Rettman
The EU’s external action service (EEAS) plans to spend up to €50 million on private security guards for its Afghanistan mission over the next four years.
The EEAS unveiled the tender on Thursday (10 May), saying the money would be spent on “protection of staff, their families in the country, visitors from headquarters or other EU institutions, the premises and the goods of the EU delegation in Afghanistan.”
The contract – valued at between €30 million and €50 million plus VAT – is to cover at least 100 security guards, as well as “mobile patrol teams, equipment [and] armoured cars.”
It is aiming to sign up a big company with prior experience in Afghanistan – the winning bidder must have an annual turnover of at least €20 million and 400 staff.

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