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Patricia O'Connell
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Government Contracts Practice Co-Chair William Roberts Weighs in on Conflict Involving Iraq Security Contracts

August 3, 2011

William Roberts, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Government Contracts Practice, was quoted in an August 1 article commenting on a dispute between the State Department and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) that has cast doubt on the management of almost $3 billion in diplomatic security contracts. According to the article, the dispute arose after SIGIR’s request to access records about the State Department’s plans to oversee its contractor force was denied. According to the State Department, SIGIR’s authority to uncover fraud in the reconstruction process does not extend to the agency’s plans to protect diplomats. The conflict has raised questions about SIGIR’s authority in Iraq and the State Department’s ability to deal with security personnel. “There’s some degree of uncertainty,” Mr. Roberts said about the situation. “I don’t think it’s black and white.” “But with a compromise unlikely, the question will likely require clarification by Congress before it’s resolved,” Mr. Roberts added. “I don’t think it’s going to be decided through compromise, but through direction from the Hill,” he concluded.