Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 27, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
US House committee investigates potential insurance fraud in Iraq
Andrew Gilmore at 11:54 AM ET
[JURIST] The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform [committee website] heard testimony [transcripts] on Thursday regarding potential abuse of the Defense Base Act of 1941 (DBA) [text] in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Act requires [PDF, US DOL backgrounder] contractors working on military installations to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees, the cost of which is reimbursed to the contractors using taxpayer funds. Civilian employees often have difficulty processing their claims [Federal Times report] after returning to the US. In his opening remarks, Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) [official website; JURIST news archive] stated that the “inefficient” DBA system has encouraged excessive profit-taking by insurance companies. Waxman asserted [PDF, opening statement] that “Rube Goldberg could not design a more inefficient way to help employees wounded or injured in Iraq.” Additionally, AP reported Wednesday that the US Army Criminal Investigation Command [official website] is investigating [AP report] two Iraqi contractors working on public development projects in Iraq for insurance fraud related to the requirements of the DBA. AP has more.
On Monday, two former US State Department officials condemned the Bush administration’s ineffectiveness in combating corruption in Iraq. In December 2007, the FBI launched a criminal probe into the activities of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. In October 2007, the State Department admitted that it could not account for most of the $1.2 billion in Iraqi police training funds. In August 2007, Pentagon investigators looked into allegations of fraud and corruption in military contracting in Iraq [JURIST reports].
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Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 27, 2008
Established in 1941, the Defense Base Act (DBA) provides the equivalent of workers’ compensation for civilian contractors working in contingency operations in overseas countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. “As designated by the Secretary of Defense, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq are both contingency operations.”  The Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) 2.101 defines a Contingency Operation (10 U.S.C. 101(a) (13)) to be a military operation that:
“(1) Is designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the armed forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing military force; or
(2) Results in the call or order to, or retention on, active duty of members of the uniformed services under section 688, 12301(a), 12302, 12304, 12305, or 12406 of 10 U.S.C., Chapter 15 of 10 U.S.C, or any other provision of law during a war or during a national emergency declared by the President or Congress.” 
DBA provides benefits in the event that civilian contractors are injured, killed, or kidnapped in the course of their work for US government agencies such as the various branches of the Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Agency for International Development, (USAID), or the State Department.
According to government documents, the DBA “program was created to provide workers’ compensation protections for categories of workers who were outside the jurisdiction of other state or federal workers’ compensation systems. The extensions to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) were enacted to provide coverage to classes of workers who are not covered under any other statutes.”
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Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 26, 2008
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Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, OALJ, War Hazards Act | Tagged: ACE, AIG, bad faith insurance, Chartis, Civilian Contractor, Civilian Contractor Casualties, CNA, Contractor Casualties, DBA Lawyers, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Class Action, Defense Base Act Workers Compensation, Department of Labor, ISIS, LHWCA, OALJ, War Hazards Act | 10 Comments »