A group of U.S. senators recently issued a letter expressing "deep concern and frustration" with the Army’s delay in debarring companies accused of having ties to Al Qaeda, the Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. The lawmakers observed that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has referred 43 such companies and individuals to the Army for debarment, but that the Army has yet to take any action. Further, they call on the Army to finalize debarment decisions within 30 days.
This letter is the latest salvo in an ongoing campaign by Congress and SIGAR to speed the Army’s debarment process. The Army, which previously has argued that reviewing classified evidence supporting debarment referrals is a time-consuming process that cannot be rushed, has not responded publicly to the letter. As we have previously noted, members of Congress have not been shy about proposing changes to the debarment process, and the senators involved here may well press for new, strengthened debarment measures if the Army does not act quickly to address their concerns.