WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Government officials were misled by Blackwater in order to obtain lucrative contracts, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said.
Waxman's charge followed the release of a report Monday by the Small Business Administration's inspector general, alleging that Blackwater Worldwide used affiliates to gain 39 contracts for which it might not have been eligible as a small business. The report also noted that Blackwater incorrectly classified 1,000 security personnel as independent contractors rather than employees, The Hill, a Washington newspaper, reported Tuesday.
Waxman, who is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asked for the SBA investigation in March. He said the report demonstrates that Blackwater misled contracting officials who in turn ignored obvious warning signals.
But Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell called the report speculative. Their accountants and outside legal counsel have determined that Blackwater's classifications of personnel are reasonable, she told The Hill.