Tag Archives: North Dakota

G4S Admits It Guards Dakota Pipeline as Protesters Get Attacked

Source: Telesur, September 6, 2016

G4S, a U.K.-based security multinational, admitted to having personnel deployed at “remote sites” where Native Americans are defending their lands from the planned US$3.8-million Dakota Access pipeline that they say would pollute the drinking water of millions. … The security company has been under fire for providing services to Israeli prisons and settlements, expanding across the Middle East including Afghanistan and Iraq and operating juvenile detention centers and handling deportations from the U.S. In an email to teleSUR, G4S Communications Director Monica Lewman-Garcia wrote, “G4S Secure Solutions is providing fewer than 10 security officers, assigned to remote sites, providing limited short-term unarmed patrol services.” G4S recently published a new job opening for an armed custom protection security officer in Mandan, North Dakota—next to the campsites—which was reposted on Facebook by Lakota Sioux Tribe member Olowaan Plain. … A direct action to stop construction on Saturday ended in security deploying dogs, who bit six people including a pregnant woman and a child. The private security forces also maced 30 people, activists said. G4S officers “were not present and not involved at the location where the incident occurred,” wrote Lewman-Garcia. …

USDA Announces First Private Sector Investments through U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund

Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Release No. 0218.15, July 28, 2015

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the first round of investments in rural infrastructure projects through the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. Through the Fund and its expanded public-private partnerships, USDA has facilitated the investment of nearly $161 million in private capital 22 critical water and community facilities projects in 14 states… Investments include 11 community facilities projects in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin, including building new nursing homes, constructing new preschool and day care facilities, constructing a new facility for a rural ambulance service that covers a 685 square mile area in South Dakota, and building or upgrading two new critical access hospitals in rural Illinois and North Carolina. In addition, the Fund invested in 11 critical water projects in California, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. Projects include upgrades to existing water systems and the construction of a new reservoir. At least 38 additional critical infrastructure projects are in the pipeline for investment. …

County officials consider consolidating dispatch systems

Source: LeAnn Eckroth, Bismarck Tribune, January 7, 2014

A committee studying a joint Burleigh-Morton county dispatch system has created a subcommittee to give a clearer report about benefits and technology needed before the two dispatch centers can consolidate. …. Reports found differences in the dispatchers’ retirement programs.Those from the Bismarck Burleigh Combined Communications system use a retirement program created by Bismarck. Morton County dispatchers’ benefits come from the state Public Employees Retirement system….

Workers wanted in N.D.

Source: Nick Smith, Bismarck Tribune, March 17, 2014

State officials and business leaders on Monday announced a workforce recruitment campaign called “Find the Good Life in North Dakota,” that will be rolled out in May. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley accepted a $400,000 check from a Hess Corp. official in Memorial Hall following the announcement. Matching state funds are to be provided through the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Wrigley said the campaign is a public-private partnership meant to attract employees to find permanent work and raise their families in the state. Filling the approximately 25,000 job openings with skilled workers can help North Dakota fully realize its potential, he said. … Wally Goulet, chairman of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, said a website will be up in May…. Goulet said the campaign also would target people in states hard-hit by the late 2000s economic downturn, including Washington, Wisconsin and Michigan. The Odney firm was hired to develop the marketing campaign….

2 Fargo children left unattended on school bus

Source: Forum News Service, January 3, 2014

Two Fargo schoolchildren were left unattended in a Valley Bus school bus in the firm’s parking lot Thursday morning when the driver failed to check the vehicle before leaving it. Fortunately, the bus was left running. The temperature at Fargo’s Hector International Airport was 23 degrees below zero at 6:53 a.m., and had only risen to about 13-below zero by 10:53 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. … Lietz said he was told the driver failed to follow protocol in checking the bus before leaving it. Also, electronic warning systems that remind drivers to check their buses didn’t engage, he said. …

Profiting from the Poor: Outsourcing Social Services Puts Most Vulnerable at Risk

Source: Nick Surgey, Center for Media & Democracy, October 8, 2013

…. The privatization of social services has in the past resulted in some spectacular failures. …. As private corporations like ACS and Maximus rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in massive contracts, and their executives rake in colossal compensation packages, shareholder profits and warped incentives detract from the standards of care provided by these corporations….

…As some cash strapped governments choose to balance the budget on the backs of children and families, corporate contractors’ profits are soaring.

According to SEC filings, Maximus raked in total revenue of $1.05 billion during its 2012 fiscal year, with CEO, Richard Montoni receiving more than four million dollars. Over the past five years his total compensation has been $16,194,847. From 2008-2012, Maximus’ top executives have pulled in $41,808,585, with substantial revenue from state taxpayers.

During the 2012 fiscal year, ACS’s parent company, Xerox, took in $22.3 billion. Lynn Blodgett, the former CEO of ACS (prior to its acquisition by Xerox) who is currently a Xerox Executive Vice President, made $7,561,949 in total compensation last year.

In the three years since Xerox bought ACS, Blodgett’s compensation has totaled $17,475,776. Xerox — which directly benefits from the government contracting work done by ACS and its other division — compensated its top executives a total of $124,842,705 from 2008-2012….

Balfour Beatty Wins $470M USAF Contract

Source: Citybizlist, November 7, 2011

The U.S. Air Force has selected Newtown Square, Pa.-based Balfour Beatty Communities LLC as the winner of a $470 million contract to develop 4,761 residential units at six bases in the states in the next six years.

The company will oversee the Northern Group Housing Privatization Project, a 50-year plan. The initial phase covers Minot AFB, Grand Forks AFB and Cavalier AFS, all in North Dakota; Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota; Mountain Home AFB in Idaho; and Cannon AFB in New Mexico….

…With the contract, Balfour Beatty Communities will have 53 military installations in 25 states and Washington, D.C., in its footprint.

ND Medicaid payment system changes delayed again

Source: Associated Press, September 17, 2011

A chronically delayed new computer software system to handle North Dakota’s Medicaid bills, which was to be finished in nine months, will not be working until mid-2013, an executive told state legislators Thursday. The project was originally scheduled to be finished two years ago. Last summer, a vice president for the software’s developer, Affiliated Computer Services Inc., promised it would be functioning by June 2012. ACS is a unit of Xerox Corp.

Maryland company builds library empire / Cities privatize services to cut costs

Source: Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, September 5, 2011

Cash-strapped cities and local governments across the country, having privatized services such as trash collection and prison operations in efforts to make up budget shortfalls, are increasingly eyeing another service as a prime candidate for outsourcing: the neighborhood library.

To save money, counties and cities in California, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas have outsourced much of their operations to Library Systems & Services LLC….

Local leaders in Stockton, Calif., considered privatizing but ultimately decided against it, in part because of concerns raised by city residents, Ms. Raphael said.

Those misgivings may have been driven by controversies in Fargo, N.D., and Jersey City, N.J., along with other communities that signed contracts with LSSI only to terminate them early. In Fargo, the library board voted in 2003 to cancel the two-year deal after just eight months, citing concerns about mounting bills, according to the trade publication Library Journal.

Outsourcing the local library can lead to a loud backlash

Source: Melissa Maynard, Stateline, August 01, 2011

….. Quiet though it has been, the rise of LSSI has attracted its share of critics, not just at the local level but in the increasingly nervous network of public library systems around the country. As city budgets tighten and privatizing services becomes more politically acceptable, LSSI keeps attracting interest from cash-strapped communities searching for ways to keep their libraries in good working order without spending more than they can afford. LSSI so far has no competitors in the private sector because, according to CEO Brad King, no other company has dared to go “where angels fear to tread.” …. An ALA report released in June urges communities to thoroughly vet privatization proposals and provides a checklist for doing so.