Friday, April 06, 2007

The Defense Base Act

In early 2005, I became aware that Kirk von Ackermann, a civilian contractor working in Iraq, was not covered by "insurance" when he disappeared on October 9, 2003. I sought to find out a) what was this "insurance" and b) why was it missing? The result of the ensuing two years of research -- in to what I would quickly learn was the Defense Base Act -- is a three-part series for ePluribus Media of which the first part is now available.

Part I traces how the lack of adequate insurance coverage impacts families. In particular, it goes into some detail on how lack of Defense Base Act coverage impacted the von Ackermann family.

Part II concentrates on how the appropriate Defense Base Act contract clauses that could have made a difference went "missing in action."

Part III focuses on the lack of information and access to low cost coverage for contractors based overseas.

Iraq, Contingency Contracting and the Defense Base Act
by Susie Dow, ePluribus Media, March 28, 2007

Established in 1941, the Defense Base Act (DBA) provides the equivalent of workers' compensation for civilian contractors working on contingency operations in overseas countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. DBA provides benefits in the event contractors are injured, killed, or kidnapped in the course of their work for US government agencies such as the various branches of the Department of Defense, USAID, or the State Department. But this insurance is not automatic, employers must purchase it. And before they can do that, they must know about it.

Parts II & III will be posted over the next several weeks. I'll update this post with links once available.

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