ArmorGroup have been awarded three Foreign and Commonwealth Office contracts for work in Iraq.
The first was for provision of static guarding of our embassy office in Basra. It started on 1 July 2004, ran to 30 June 2006 and employed a maximum of 93 personnel. These figures varied during the course of the contract.
The second was for the provision of static guarding at our embassy in Baghdad. This contract also started on 1 July 2004 and ran to 30 June 2006. It employed a maximum of 113 personnel. Again, these figures varied during the course of the contract.
The third is to provide police mentors to work on policing projects in Baghdad and southern Iraq. This contract started on 4 June 2004 and is due to expire in June 2007. There are currently 711 people employed on this contract and the maximum employed at any time during the course of the contract has been 91.
1 The figure of 71 in this case means that there are 71 police mentors on the ground at any one time. To ensure these positions are constantly filled, extra personnel are used to provide leave cover. This means the actual number of personnel currently staffing the contract is usually 25 per cent. higher than the ‘on the ground figure’.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has one contract in Iraq which is directly related to a project funded by the Dutch Government. In August 2005 the FCO extended its contract with ArmorGroup, which provides police mentors to Iraq, to include an additional 17 mentors to carry out training and mentoring in Al-Muthanna province. This additional capacity was funded in full by the Dutch Government and lasted until February 2006.
We have not let any contracts in Iraq in relation to projects funded partly or wholly by the Japanese Government.
The contract originally awarded to ArmorGroup in June 2004 for police training and mentoring in Iraq was for an initial five months and has been extended a total of five times. The extensions were for the following periods:
November 2004-December 2004
January 2005-August 2005
September 2005-March 2006
April 2006-September 2006
October 2006-June 2007
Each extension has included a review of prices to ensure value for money. The policing work carried out by ArmorGroup is under the command and direction of a senior serving British policeman, with whom Foreign and Commonwealth Office works in raising issues relating to the performance or staffing of the ArmorGroup contract. We have also commissioned independent reviews of our policing programme to assess its effectiveness including the security sector development advisory team in May 2005, Sir Ronnie Flanagan’s assessment of the UK’s policing programme in January 2006 and chief constable Paul Kernaghan’s progress assessment visit on 4-7 October 2006.
Payment to ArmorGroup is made on a per person per day in country basis.