The Washington Post reports today that federal auditors on Monday put a stop to Army plans to award a $1 billion training program for Afghan police officers to the company formerly known as Blackwater (now Xe Services), concluding that other companies were unfairly excluded from bidding on the job. According to the article, GAO officials upheld a protest by DynCorp International Inc., which currently conducts training for Afghan police under a State Department contract. DynCorp lawyers argued that the company should have been allowed to submit bids when management of the training program passed from State to the Army. Instead, Pentagon officials allowed the training program to be attached to an existing Defense contract that supports counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. GAO officials said the decision will allow a new round of bidding by DynCorp and other firms, including Xe Services.

A press statement, including a link to the full decision, is available on the GAO website here.