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Memorandum on Withholding of Passports and Trafficking in Persons


April 19, 2006

LETTER FROM ROBERT K. BOYLES, COLONEL, USAF
SIGNED 19 APRIL 2006

JOINT CONTRACTING COMMAND—IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN
PARC-FORCES
BAGHDAD, IRAQ
APO AE 09342

PARC-FORCES
19 April 2006

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL CONTRACTORS

SUBJECT: Withholding of Passports, Trafficking in Persons

Evidence indicates a wide spread practice of holding and withholding employee passports to, among other things, prevent employees “jumping” to other employers. It is the position of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) that this practice violates Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 1589 and 1592.

All contractors, engaging in the above mentioned practice and having contracts awarded by the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan, are directed to cease and desist in this practice immediately. All passports will be returned to employees by 1 May 06. This requirement will be flowed down to each of your subcontractors performing work in this theater. The MNF-I Inspector General will conduct compliance inspections in 90 days.

If it becomes any company’s decision to disregard this direction be advised I will take whatever steps necessary, within my authority, to compel compliance including contract termination, debarment, suspension or negative past performance evaluations. Further, installation law enforcement and garrison leadership may bar access to any government installation for illegal activity.

The following will appear in future solicitations and contracts:

  • A “termination without penalty” provision in accordance with Title 22 U.S.C., Section 7104.g
  • Requirement for contractors and sub-contractors at all tiers to provide workers with a signed copy of their employment contract that defines the terms of their employment/compensation (e.g., salary, currency, work hours, overtime, vacation, etc.)
  • Prohibition for contractors and subcontractors at all tiers against utilizing unlicensed recruiting firms, or firms that charge illegal recruiting fees
  • Establishment of 50 feet as the minimum acceptable square footage of personal living space per worker
  • Requirement for contractors and subcontractors at all tiers to comply with international and host country laws regarding transit/exit/entry procedures, and the requirements for work visas

The right of freedom of movement and quality living standards are serious issues; MNF-I takes a zero tolerance approach to any violation.

Reminder: All passports returned to safekeeping of each employee not-later-than 1 May 06.

ROBERT K. BOYLES, Colonel, USAF
Principal Assistant Responsible for
Contracting — Forces
Joint Contracting Command — Iraq/Afghanistan


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