The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given the defense contracting agency Titan more than a half million dollars in brand-new contracts for Hurricane Katrina. Here are the top five reasons this was a very bad idea:
TORTURE: Titan is under two different federal investigations for its role in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. The Taguba report — the official government report into the prison abuse — found a Titan employee committed “indecent acts” and was involved in “cruelty and maltreatment” of Iraqi prisoners.
NEGLIGENCE: Titan bilked the U.S. government out of millions of dollars by sending hundreds of unqualified interpreters to Iraq. On top of that, Pentagon auditors recommended withholding $4.9 million from Titan’s Iraq translator contract due to questionable billing practices.
ESPIONAGE: Another Titan employee working at the prison in Guantanamo Bay was sentenced to 20 months in prison for espionage against the United States.
BRIBERY: In March 2003, Titan admitted guilt in an “international bribery scheme.” The company had to pay $28,500 to the SEC for trying to influence the presidential election of the West African nation of Benin.
CHEATING: A federal inspector general report last year found Titan overcharged American taxpayers for a troop counseling contract. The company gave nearly all of the work to a subcontractor, yet added its own fee to each of the invoices. The report charged: “We believe that Titan’s fee could represent largely unnecessary costs to the government.”