At the end of November, I became aware that the UK government had awarded a contract for data gathering for the 2011 census in England and Wales to Lockheed Martin Corporation of Maryland USA - Trident missile manufacturer.
There were a number of reasons to be concerned about this, and my concern was shared by a group of eminent scientists and other interested parties.
Firstly, Lockheed Martin Corporation of Maryland USA is the manufacturer of Trident Missiles for the UK Government. Given the Scottish Government’s resolute opposition to Trident missiles and to their being based in Scotland, this alone in my view was reason enough not to award Scottish government contracts to Lockheed Martin or to any subsidiary company owned by it.
Secondly, American companies are obliged by law to disclose on request to US Government agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, any confidential information held by them that might be deemed relevant to national security, i.e. anything.
But my third and most serious concern is the insidious way in which the military/industrial complex subverts the moral consciousness of governments, trades unions and ordinary voters, and the very nature of democracy itself by the offer of industrial investment and jobs.
I believe in legitimate defence of the Scottish nation, and in conventional defence forces and armaments, but I abhor the use of defence jobs as job creation schemes to induce tacit participation in, and compliance with the foreign policy of the United States and of the UK as its compliant ally. This is exactly the insidious perversion of democracy that former US President and distinguished American WW2 general Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against when he pointed out the dangers of the military/industrial complex.
Can you please let me know if Lockheed Martin Corporation of Maryland, USA has been awarded the contract for data gathering for the 2011 census?
I assume that I don't need to submit a freedom of information request to obtain this information. If for any reason you are unable to confirm who has been awarded this contract, please tell me how I may find the information.
As a citizen and householder in the UK who will be required to complete the census form, I believe I am legally entitled to this information.
Your email of 26 November to 2011censusmedia@ONS has been passed to me since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) took the view that, being a Scottish resident, it was the Census in Scotland that you were likely to be interested in. In Scotland the Census is the responsibility of the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), not the ONS. GROS has awarded no contract in relation to the 2011 Census to the Lockheed Martin Corporation of Maryland, USA.
If, on the other hand, it is the Census in England and Wales that you are interested in, I suggest that you email 2011censusmedia@ONS again, stressing this point.
I was reassured by this, and while my concern remained for the English and Welsh census, I felt sure that Scotland would not be so foolish as to award a contract to a company with such links. I should have looked more closely at the list of British companies who were being considered for the census contract. Among them was a company called CACI. The first link below makes it clear what CACI is and what it does: the second is CACI in 2009 referring to Scottish suppliers ( brightsolid and dns) which it had chosen to to deliver data gathering and processing for the Scottish census after CACI (UK)'s appointment last year by the General Register Office for Scotland which is responsible for taking Scotland's census.
What are we left with? I had initially believed that CACI (UK) was a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, but I can find no evidence of this. It is, however, a wholly owned subsidiary of CACI International Inc. which is subject to exactly the same requirements of data disclosure by the US Government.
However admirable the two Scottish companies, brightsolid and dns are, however high their ethical policies are, and however apparently stringent the legislation is prohibiting the disclosure of confidential information from the census, they are now inextricably linked, as is the Scottish Government, to the highest levels of the US military industrial complex through CACI (UK) and CACI International Inc. - to a giant defence corporation with its HQ in Arlington, Virginia, a company that was deeply involved in American operations in Iraq, notably in the notorious Abu Ghraib.
There are those who will respond with some irritation to all this by saying that this is the reality of global business in the modern world, and that the UK and Scotland must be involved or risk being marginalised economically.
I say that it cannot be beyond the technical ability of independent Scottish companies to carry out the data gathering requirements and the analytical requirements of the Scottish census without being sucked into this web of dependency upon a foreign power with a foreign policy of total and perpetual conflict and war, and it cannot be beyond the competence, wit and ingenuity of the Scottish Government to avoid such entanglements. And I do not want my personal data to be in the hands of these companies.
Here’s what CACI have to say about security of data -
As part of their contracts, brightsolid and dns - like CACI (UK) - will abide by confidentiality guarantees, mandated by Scotland's census legislation and the Data Protection Act. These are designed to ensure that people can be certain that the personal information they provide for the census will be kept absolutely secure.
And here’s what CACI (UK) says about job creation -
The appointments fit with CACI (UK)'s policy to purposely choose Scottish suppliers to ensure the census is delivered where possible by local organisations, keeping the economic benefits in Scotland. The census will be the first in Scotland to use both traditional paper and online questionnaires.
Since all the processing work will be carried out locally, over 200 new jobs will be created by CACI (UK) in Scotland to help deliver the census. Those employed will be trained in new IT and data processing skills which can be transferred to other roles once the census is completed.
CACI (UK) - what it says about itself
CACI was founded in 1975 in the UK and operates from several offices across the country.
Headquartered in London, CACI Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of CACI International Inc. CACI International Inc. is a publicly listed company on the NYSE with an annual revenue in excess of US $2.73bn and approx 13,100 people worldwide.
We offer an unrivalled range of marketing solutions and information systems to local and central government and to businesses from most industry sectors.
CACI Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Registration No. 1649776. CACI House, Avonmore Road, London, W14 8TS
EXTRACT from CACI International’s website.
The Department of Defense accounted for more than half of CACI's revenues. CACI was poised to profit from the intensive IT demands of the homeland defense industry after 9/11. The company posted record revenues in 2001 ($564 million) and 2002 ($682 million) and showed no signs of slowing. In 2002, the company's shares migrated from the NASDAQ to the Big Board on the New York Stock Exchange. CACI then had about 5,000 employees at its 90 offices in the United States and Europe.
In 2002, the company acquired Condor Technology Solutions, Inc.'s Government Solutions Division for $16 million and the IT firm Acton Burnell, Inc. for $29 million. Another intelligence specialist, Premier Technology Group, Inc., was acquired for $49 million in 2003. Also purchased in 2003 were Applied Technology Solutions of Northern VA, Inc. for $13 million, C-Cubed Corporation, a producer of mobile command centers and reconnaissance equipment, for $36 million, and Britain's Rochester Information Systems, Ltd. for $2 million.
The acquisition of Premier brought with it a $500 million blanket U.S. Army contract that included, in addition to IT services, supplying interrogators at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. CACI was soon faced with a worldwide media frenzy after an early army report implicated one of its employees in the torture there.
(CACI's larger rival Titan Corp. was also embroiled in the scandal.) In July 2004, another U.S. Army report cleared CACI's ten interrogator