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Afghanistan and Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department takes to monitor the behaviour of individuals employed by private security companies operating in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. (243885)

The Government do not monitor the behaviour of individuals operating on behalf of Private Military Security Companies (PMSCs), except when they are part of a contract that the Government have with a specific PMSC. HMG closely monitors contracts of PMSCs operating in Iraq and Afghanistan that are contracted by the UK Government. All HMG's PMSC contracts are subject to ongoing performance monitoring and contract management by the FCO and other Government Departments concerned, both in country on-the-ground and from the UK, in respect of all aspects of the delivery and operation of these contracts. HMG requires the highest standard of personal behaviour from staff employed by PMSCs contracted by HMG.

FCO monitors performance by a mixture of key performance indicators, regular visits by the Overseas Security Advisors to FCO posts who review and report on the PMSCs' performance, regular review meetings in London with PMSCs, and monitoring expenditure against a fully profiled budget. In addition, the FCO reviews requirements on completion of the contract and prior to re-tendering in order to highlight any improvements that could be made as a result of experience or lessons learned.