Posts Tagged private security companies

Industry Talk: ASIS Receives ANSI Approval For World’s First Standard To Support The Code Of Conduct For PSC’s

“This remarkable international effort demonstrates the importance of this industry sector in support of peace and stability around the globe,” says Dr. Marc Siegel, commissioner, ASIS International Global Standards Initiative and chairman of the Technical Committee. “PSCs need to conduct their business and provide services in a manner that respects human rights and laws. The standard creates a differentiator for PSCs to assure quality of services while maintaining the safety and security of their operations with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Now this is cool. With ANSI approval, the ICoC is one step closer to being an ISO standard.  Or basically a standard that is officially recognized world wide as the standard to judge or pick a company by. So if a company in India meets the ISO standard, then a client from the US could contract with that group and know what that minimum standard that company is abiding by–in order to have that ISO standard.

It’s kind of like this. ISO has been crucial to the automobile industry. It is what allows the global market place for cars to exist.  If a car made in China is made to an ISO standard, then that car can be sold in another market/country that has the confidence that it is safe and built to a standard that is internationally recognized. So that is the angle here for PSC’s.

A standard also helps in the principal agent problem. If the principal will only work with companies that have an ISO stamp, and that agent knows that principals will not look at their company unless they have an ISO stamp of approval, then you can see where the value is to both parties. Without that standard, then a principal has to use other less efficient means of finding out who is good, and who is not. But the big one here is that the ISO would have value, because to not meet those standards would make you not marketable. Especially if one company in the US, wants to work for a client in Europe–both parties would know the standard that is expected.

Why standards matter (from the ISO website)
Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of our lives.
Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability – and at an economical cost.
When products and services meet our expectations, we tend to take this for granted and be unaware of the role of standards. However, when standards are absent, we soon notice. We soon care when products turn out to be of poor quality, do not fit, are incompatible with equipment that we already have, are unreliable or dangerous.
When products, systems, machinery and devices work well and safely, it is often because they meet standards. And the organization responsible for many thousands of the standards which benefit the world is ISO.
When standards are absent, we soon notice.
ISO standards:
-make the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner
-facilitate trade between countries and make it fairer
-provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation, and conformity assessment
-share technological advances and good management practice
-disseminate innovation
-safeguard consumers, and users in general, of products and services
-life simpler by providing solutions to common problems
Check out the ISO Cafe for more examples of the impact of this system.

Very cool and we will see how it goes. We will see how long it takes to get from ANSI all the way up to ISO, but this is a big step closer to that goal. Good job to all involved and a big congrats to ASIS. –Matt


ASIS International Receives ANSI Approval for World’s First Standard to Support the Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers
Alexandria, VA
April 20, 2012
ASIS International(ASIS), the preeminent organization for security management professionals worldwide, received ANSI approval for its standard, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations – Requirements with Guidance(ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012). Developed by a Technical Committee comprised of more than 200 members from 24 countries, this standard establishes a mechanism for Private Security Companies and their clients to provide demonstrable commitment, conformance, and accountability to the principles outlined in the International Code of Conduct (ICoC) for Private Security Service Providers.
Private Security Service Providers including Private Security Companies (collectively “PSCs”) play an important role in protecting state and non-state clients engaged in relief, recovery, and reconstruction efforts; commercial business operations; diplomacy; and military activity. The purpose of this standard is to improve and demonstrate consistent and predictable quality of services provided by PSCs while maintaining the safety and security of their operations and clients within a framework that aims to ensure respect for human rights, national and international laws, and fundamental freedoms.

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Publications: Journal Of International Peace Operations, July-August 2011

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Industry Talk: A Review Of ‘States Of Security’

Or at least a review of the PSC part of this survey. Although I did find it disconcerting that they talked with several ‘private security commentators’ and industry professionals, but made no effort to contact this blog. I mean there are only a handful of us folks who actually work in this industry, and write about it on a day to day basis. To not recognize the significance of such a resource, tells me that perhaps they were lazy or did not care to gain that kind of insight? Such information would have made a better product, and all it would have taken is an email….Oh what a burden? lol  With that said, let me highlight some of the pros and cons of this survey.

The lack of information about PSC’s and their weapons use in the maritime security market is disappointing. These figures would have been very useful for pointing out deficiencies or strengths in this part of the industry. And if you were to make the connection between the statistic of low rates of armed PSC’s and Western Europe, and the fact that most of today’s maritime security PSC usage comes from this region, then you can see exactly what I am getting at here. If these countries are adverse to arming PSC’s, and yet those same PSC’s are the majority of security out there protecting vessels from heavily armed pirates, then that is not a good ratio.

Furthermore, their data on the types of weapons contractors are using out there is off. The type of weapons that contractors are using and have available to them, is far more varied than what they listed. I will leave it at that.

I would have also liked some more statistics and focus on homemade weaponry. With the internet and the availability of opensource information about the proper construction of weapons, I would be very curious as to the state of DIY weapons manufacturing out there. It would have also brought more attention to the concept of Opensource Military Hardware.

I do want to give praise for the effort, and it was very informative.  It was very interesting to know that there are more PSC’s than police, and yet the police and the militaries of the world have far more weapons.  To me, this is shocking. PSC’s are increasingly becoming the front line troops when it comes to terrorism, drug wars, pirates, etc., and yet here we are throwing guards into harms way without these very basic tools of defense and self protection.

I have not been able to read the rest of the survey, but I would be interested to hear about the small arms usage of terrorists, pirates, drug cartels, etc. if such a statistic could be formulated. I imagine this figure would be pretty startling. But the most disturbing aspect of such a statistic, is the idea that we are using all of these unarmed private security forces to defend against these heavily armed malcontents. I am already seeing this with the maritime security industry, and that alone has been a battle to promote the idea of putting armed guards on boats. And not just armed, but armed with sufficient firepower to deal with the potential threats.

To me, it is an issue of safety for the guard and an issue of actually providing ‘real security’ services to the client, as opposed to providing security theater. Every guard out there should be able to look their client in the eye and say ‘I am ready to take on any and all threats, in the defense of you and your property’. Guards that are unarmed or poorly trained will contribute to failure–which equates to more industry scrutiny and consternation.

The survey noted this, and also noted the important efforts of this industry to get squared away.  Things like signing the ICoC or rallying around the Montreux Document are all signs that the industry wants accountability, and they want to give the client the confidence to use their services.

But as the survey has noted, time and time again, it is the governments of the world who have dropped the ball when it comes to regulating or coming up with the laws to properly manage this industry. I have done much to highlight these deficiencies in the past on this blog, and will continue to do so. I will also continue to provide solutions for countries and clients, to help them get the best service and contract they can get out of their PSC’s and PMC’s. I will also continue to do my part to promote a business/warrior ethos called Jundism amongst my peers, as well as promote real security solutions to the world’s complex security environments.

It is also very interesting to me that the Police and Military forces of the world get far more respect than PSC’s, and yet here we are, taking on more and more responsibilities and dealing with more complex threats. Everything a cop or soldier might encounter, PSC’s could encounter as well. And yet PSC’s continue to do what they do with less arms, less legal authority, less regulation, less training, less accountability and all because we are less cost. We have ‘cheaper’ down, we have ‘faster’ down, but we still have a ways to go when it comes to ‘better’. But I am optimistic, because we are slowly evolving, learning, improving our standing as ‘better’, despite the nation state’s inability to keep up with regulations/management/accountability. –Matt

On Growth

The private security sector has been booming since the mid-1980s and continues to grow steadily (van Dijk, 2008,
p. 217). Recent estimates show that the security market is worth about USD 100–165 billion per year, and that it has
been growing at an annual rate of 7–8 per cent.4 The scale of growth is further illustrated by significant increases in
the number of personnel employed over time and across regions:

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Quotes: Pratap Chatterjee On The Number Of Contractors Needed For Afghanistan During Drawdown

I just found this and thought I would share.  The two quotes in the article were the ones I thought were the most interesting, and if you would like to read the whole thing, by all means follow the link below.

What is cool here is Pratap has estimated a ratio of contractors to troops for this drawdown, based on the surges in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the drawdown in Iraq.  Or basically the numbers needed for the buildup or drawdown of a conflict. It would be interesting to see how well these figures hold up after all is said and done? Either way, I thought the numbers were pretty impressive.

In the article, he also mentioned how much private security has grown in Afghanistan, and I have talked about that in the past as well. He has predicted, and I agree, that DoS will have a pretty sizable requirement for security contractors there, much like for Iraq.

The other quote that I put up that was interesting, was the possible factors that could impact these numbers. That Karzai could implement the ban on private security companies under Decree 62, and install his own police force wherever. Or there could be a dramatic decrease in reconstruction.

The reconstruction stuff I do not see, because folks want a return on investment for projects they have already invested millions into.  If not, what a waste of money? Better to finish the project and then leave.

As to Karzai banning private security companies?  Well, as Pratap brought up, I think the latest attack at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul should change that mindset. I mean Karzai is responsible for shutting down and limiting PSC’s already. According to my readership, the MOI is sitting on approximately 45 licenses that have yet to be issued to companies so they can do their job.

So let’s think about that?  That is 45 companies that are wanting to provide security in a country where the enemy is purposely targeting civilians, and the MOI is just sitting on these licenses? The enemy is attacking hotels, supermarkets, hospitals, reconstruction sites, etc., and yet these private security assets are just wasting away….  I say let these private companies contract with private security, and let the Afghan police and military fight crime and wars. –Matt

…Using a range of 1.3 to 1.4 (based on what Afghanistan needed before the surge and Iraq needed after the drawdown), I would project that if the Obama administration draws down to 68,000 troops in Afghanistan by September 2012, they will need 88,400 contractors at the very least, but potentially as many as 95,880.

….But the one group that has seen demand explode since Obama became president is the number of private security contractors (men or women with guns), which spiked from a flat line of about 4,000 to almost 19,000 today. Given the attack on the Intercontinental in Kabul yesterday, that number seems very unlikely to drop.To be sure, there are two reasons that might change — a dramatic slowdown in reconstruction activity or if President Karzai decides to disband the private security contractors in the country as he has threatened to do in the past. –Pratap Chatterjee.

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Industry Talk: Five More Companies Awarded IDIQ Contracts For 10 Billion Dollar CJPS (CIVPOL) Program

I wanted to put this up because I have received several notes from guys who have been approached for work with CJPS.  And hence, this latest news is why the companies have been actively recruiting for this stuff recently. Hell, between this, maritime security and WPS, experienced security contractors are certainly becoming a hot commodity.

What is cool with these contracts is that some of them do not require you to be a former police officer. They have protective details and various other support functions required by the program.  So definitely check out the companies below and research their career sections if you are wanting to get into some of this work. Definitely ask around at the forums if you want to know more about the project/company.

Also, there is no telling what company will go where, and this is IDIQ stuff. But the synopsis does list a few of the countries this program is active in. Here is the quote: “Program countries/areas include Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sudan, and the West Bank.” And seeing how much money this program is getting, I imagine they will be recruiting for awhile.  If anyone has anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section. –Matt

CJPS Full Scope Award
Solicitation Number: SAQMMA10R0079-CJPS-Full-Scope
Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Office of Logistics Management
Location: Acquisition Management
Solicitation Number: SAQMMA10R0079-CJPS-Full-Scope
Notice Type: Award Notice
Contract Award Date: May 10, 2011
Contract Award Number: SAQMMA11D0047-SAQMMA11D0048-SAQMMA11D0049-SAQMMA11D0050-SAQMMA11D0081
Contract Award Dollar Amount: 10,000,000,0001
Contractor Awarded Name:
DynCorp International
Justice Services International
MPRI An L3 Company
PAE Government Services
Civilian Police International
(INL on Feb. 15 had awarded the first round of contracts to four other vendors: BlueLaw International, Bering Strait Orion Management Joint Venture, Team Crucible, and Navigator Development Group. Link to post here.)
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Industry Talk: FBO News–USSOCOM Looking To Contract With PSC’s For Guard Services In Afghanistan

This is cool, and a hit tip to Wired’s Danger Room for finding this one. Sometimes I forget to check FBO every now and then, but I can always depend upon the the thousands of readers/bloggers/news groups  out there to find the good stuff and get the story out there.

On the flip side, I do not share the same concern as Noah does on this contract. These SF troopers will not stand by for any funny business on their compounds, and will manage these contracts in their own little way.  Meaning, many SF guys have connections within the companies already, because the companies are filled with SF types. If a company plays games, the SF network/mafia will certainly come down hard. Hell, many contractors who were SF, are still playing the military game in the National Guard.

The other reason why I am not worried about their ability to manage this stuff, is because of how small of a contract it will be, and the level of cultural expertise inherent within the SF community. They will know exactly how to properly motivate their contracted guard force–be it expats or local nationals.

If anything, that would be a cool camp to work at for all the possible networking potential and cross training. I just hope that USSOCOM does not fall into the trap of ‘lowest priced, technically acceptable’ contracting vehicle, because that is certainly a recipe for disaster. Give them the flexibility to choose the guard force that is the ‘best value’ for the money. Also put into the contract all the necessary quality control mechanisms needed to keep this stuff in line. Pretty typical really, and all the past lessons apply.

Who knows who will get the contract, but as the solicitation stated, this is a quick one.  So we should know who they picked before summer at least–hopefully. If any readers or the contracting officers of this solicitation have anything to add, feel free to do so in the comments. –Matt

Edit: 05/27/2011 Wired posted this update.

“The Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan put 10 contracts for “perimeter security“ up for bid on Friday morning. Hired guards, mostly Afghans, will keep watch over anyone who approaches the elite commandos’ remote outposts. The bases on which they’ll work range in size from tiny “village support platforms” staffed by a mere 12-man “A Team” to one near Kabul’s infamous Pol-e-Charkhi prison, but there are uniform expectations for would-be guards. Some of them read more like baseline conditions for membership in civilized humanity.”

Private Security Contract
Solicitation Number: H92237-11-R-0870
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: U.S. Special Operations Command
Location: Headquarters Field Assistance Division
Notice Type: Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Posted Date: April 6, 2011
Response Date: Apr 15, 2011 12:00 pm Eastern
Archiving Policy: Automatic, 15 days after response date
Archive Date: April 30, 2011
Original Set Aside: N/A
Set Aside: N/A
Classification Code: R — Professional, administrative, and management support services
NAICS Code: 561 — Administrative and Support Services/561612 — Security Guards and Patrol Services
Solicitation Number: H92237-11-R-0870
Notice Type: Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Added: Apr 06, 2011 12:51 pm

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