American Samizdat

Tuesday, December 26, 2006. *
More on BearingPoint Inc. from my below post: Old Iraq Strategy Lives On In Weekly Progress Reports

Antonia Juhasz* has been all over this, showing that BearingPoint Inc is nothing more than another Enron/Arthur Andersen like accounting firm.

And its running not only the State Department in the USA but the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan.

BearingPoint has worked extensively on homeland security matters over the last two years, including with the Transportation Security Administration on airport security and the Defense Department on identification card technology. BearingPoint also worked with then-Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, now director of Homeland Security, to develop the Justice Network, a Web-based crime fighting system that links Pennsylvania's criminal justice agencies and offices with federal agencies.

In October 2002, KPMG Consulting Inc. changed its name to BearingPoint Inc. KPMG Consulting was formed in 1997 as the consulting division of accounting firm KPMG LLP. An initial public offering on Feb. 8, 2001, marked the official separation of KPMG Consulting from KPMG LLP. BearingPoint was the first of the Big Five consulting firms to separate from its audit and tax parent and become an independent, publicly traded company. The crisis that engulfed the accounting profession in the wake of the Enron/Arthur Andersen scandal later that year hastened the company's decision to change its name in 2002. Under the leadership of current Chairman and CEO Randolph Blazer, BearingPoint underwent a dramatic expansion by acquiring most of Arthur Andersen's worldwide consulting operations.

Clients include nine of the top 10 global wireless carriers, all software, electronics and pharmaceutical companies in the Fortune 100, six of the world's top 10 manufacturing companies, and all 14 Cabinet-level departments of the U.S. government. BearingPoint reported $2.4 billion in net revenue for FY 2003 and has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people in 39 countries.

In March 2002, Richard Roberts (Johnson's successor), testified before the House Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy in support of another bill sponsored by Rep. Davis, the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2002, a bill designed to streamline the process by which the government purchases information technology services. Roberts was testifying on behalf of the Information Technology Association of America, a trade group of which BearingPoint is a member. BearingPoint Senior Vice President Dave Sanders sits on the ITAA's board of directors. The ITAA helped the House subcommittee draft the legislation.

In 2001, BearingPoint spent $60,000 to lobby on homeland security issues and matters pertaining to the accounting industry. In 2002, BearingPoint spent $420,000 to lobby on information technology procurement and homeland security, among other issues.

In July 2003, USAID awarded BearingPoint a $9 million initial award to facilitate Iraq's economic recovery. According to USAID, the contract, which can be renewed annually for a maximum of two more years, is worth $79,583,885. According to the contract, the estimated value, including the two option years, is $240,162,668. The contract was bid on by 10 companies with existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts, according to USAID. Under the contract, BearingPoint will support the provisional government's efforts to facilitate Iraq's regional and international economic integration, stimulate trade, increase employment, and create a competitive private sector, according to USAID. BearingPoint will examine Iraq's current laws and policies regulating trade, commerce and investment and provide support to the central bank and the ministries of finance, trade, commerce and industry. BearingPoint might also undertake specific initiatives relating to "credit, micro-finance and small business loans."

In March 2003, USAID awarded BearingPoint a three-year, $39.9 million contract to help rebuild the country's economic infrastructure. That agreement includes an option to extend the contract for another two years, bringing the total amount of the award to $64.1 million. Under the contract, BearingPoint will work with the government in developing and repairing most of the key areas of Afghanistan's economy: tax policy, budget planning, banking, trade policy, commercial law and private sector development. After winning the contract, BearingPoint announced it was sending 30 employees to Afghanistan and hiring 30 more Kabul residents, adding to the 50 residents already employed.

Takes War Profiteering to a whole 'nother level. Build trap doors to governments from the inside when you build the government itself!

I wonder if they wrote the legal underpinning for all the "help" that the ISG envisioned for the oil sector in Iraq? D'ya think?

Further, Prior to the invasion, as we have seen Bearing Point received a $250 million contract from US AID to develop a blueprint for the remaking of Iraq's economy into a 'free-market' economy friendly to U.S. corporate interests. Bremer's job was to implement the Bearing Point plan. Juhasz points out that while there may have been an inadequate military plan, there was in fact a plan for the takeover and remaking of the economy of Iraq. Bremer had the power to create laws by issuing "binding instructions or directives." Bremer issued 100 Orders, Juhasz in 2005 interview describes some of the key orders:
"Order No. 39 allows for: (1) privatization of Iraq's 200 state-owned enterprises; (2) 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses; (3) "national treatment" — which means no preferences for local over foreign businesses; (4) unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other funds; and (5) 40-year ownership licenses.

"Thus, it forbids Iraqis from receiving preference in the reconstruction while allowing foreign corporations — Halliburton and Bechtel, for example — to buy up Iraqi businesses, do all of the work and send all of their money home. They cannot be required to hire Iraqis or to reinvest their money in the Iraqi economy. They can take out their investments at any time and in any amount.

"Orders No. 57 and No. 77 ensure the implementation of the orders by placing U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector generals in every government ministry, with five-year terms and with sweeping authority over contracts, programs, employees and regulations.

"Order No. 17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, full immunity from Iraq's laws. Even if they, say, kill someone or cause an environmental disaster, the injured party cannot turn to the Iraqi legal system. Rather, the charges must be brought to U.S. courts.

"Order No. 40 allows foreign banks to purchase up to 50% of Iraqi banks.

"Order No. 49 drops the tax rate on corporations from a high of 40% to a flat 15%. The income tax rate is also capped at 15%.

"Order No. 12 (renewed on Feb. 24) suspends "all tariffs, customs duties, import taxes, licensing fees and similar surcharges for goods entering or leaving Iraq." This led to an immediate and dramatic inflow of cheap foreign consumer products — devastating local producers and sellers who were thoroughly unprepared to meet the challenge of their mammoth global competitors."

The Democracy Rising Interview: Antonia Juhasz

Finally, from above, BearingPoint Clients include nine of the top 10 global wireless carriers, all software, electronics and pharmaceutical companies in the Fortune 100, six of the world's top 10 manufacturing companies, and all 14 Cabinet-level departments of the U.S. government.

Can we say embedded?

There is simply no way to spin this other than the complete rape of a country, plain and simple. Rape is in fact far too benign a word. Dismemberment is more like it; What these laws describe is the dismemberment and dismantling of a country.

Oh, one last thing... take a wild guess who got many no bid contracts for undisclosed amounts to clean up New Orleans from the Katrina disaster (e.g. relief operation)... did you guess BearingPoint Inc.?

McLean, Va.-based BearingPoint Inc (formerly KPMG Consulting )is also involved in Homeland Security contracts, Border Security contracts, EzGov software sevice contracts, Physical Infrastructure Protection, and Immigration Law; of course most of this imformation is behind subscription and pay walls websites and the average person would never know.

"Everything in this room is eatable. In fact even I am eatable, but that is called canabalism my dear children and is frowned upon in most civilizations."~Willy Wonka, from the movie 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

*Interestingly enough, I have posted about Antonia Juhasz and her work maybe three or four times here on, however, plug that name into the search eng to the right and you get nothing.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:06 PM
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