Cell at Abu GhraibRegistrar General Duncan Macniven has replied to SACC’s letter asking him to stop misrepresenting the facts about CACI’s human rights record. He has still not addressed the issues and  is plainly not going to set the facts before the public in a fair way.

He points out that “interrogation is not itself contrary to international law, and proven illegal action would have been necessary before we could have excluded the company’s tender.” He does not acknowledge that interrogation under the US policies officially in force at Abu Ghraib was necessarily abusive. He does not explain why the Register Office didn’t examine the merits of the allegations against CACI and, if appropriate, make use of the discretionary power available under EU procurement rules to exclude a bidder that “has been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authorities can demonstrate.”

The Scottish Government needs to answer some questions:

  • Does the Scottish Government agree that government departments should make the fullest possible use of both the mandatory and the discretionary provisions of EU procurement rules to ensure that public services aren’t contracted to businesses that have been involved in human rights abuses?
  • Does the Scottish Government agree that long-term or indefinite detention without trial or charge is an abuse?
  • Does it accept that sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation and intimidation by dogs are abuses?
  • Does it accept that interrogation is abusive if  it involves these abuses or is linked to them?
  • Does it accept that these abuses amount, at the very least, to “grave professional misconduct”?
  • Does it agree that allegations that CACI had been responsible for torture and ill-treatment outside the in any case abusive framework of published US policy should have been taken into consideration in evaluating CACI’s bid for census work, with a view to determining whether grave professional misconduct could be proven in respect of these matters too?

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