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Departments: Contracts

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contracts were awarded by his Department to private military security companies for work in (a) Iraq, (b) Afghanistan and (c) other countries in each of the last five years; what the (i) value and (ii) purpose was of each such contract; and if he will make a statement. (127015)

DFID engages private security companies to provide security of our staff in high threat environments. ArmorGroup, Control Risks Group (CRG), and Kroll, have provided mobile security for DFID staff, consultants and static guarding for our compounds in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since June 2004, DFID's security needs in Iraq have been met by contracts managed and administered by the FCO. The following costs have been incurred by DFID:

Cost to DFID (£ million)

2003-04

15

2004-05

14.2

2005-06

12.9

2006-07

6.1

Total

38.2

1 DFID contract.

The Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP) Iraq Strategy also has significant programme spend on police/prison reform—elements of police capacity building programme contracted to ArmorGroup who utilise both CRG and military (escorts) to provide security for their personnel.

In Afghanistan, DFID has awarded a number of contracts to ArmorGroup for armed protection of the main DFID office and residential compounds. These contracts also provide close protection (armed bodyguards) to staff when travelling to locations in Afghanistan deemed medium/high risk, and defensive driving training to our locally employed drivers. The value of this contract from June 2004 to December 2006 was £3,217,691. Since January 2007, DFID’s security needs have been met through a contract issued by the FCO.

Many of our overseas offices have contracts with local private security companies to guard residential properties. Each office would need to be contacted to provide details of the companies used and the value of each security contract. To obtain this information would incur a disproportionate cost.