Frequently Asked Questions

We will update this page as frequently as possible with new questions and answers.

Q: Why is the Afghan Public Protection Force taking over responsibility for security services from Private Security Companies?

A: In August 2010, President Karzai issued Presidential Decree 62 ordering the disbandment of private security companies in Afghanistan. As a result, all security services being performed by PSCs, with the exception of diplomatic security missions, will be transferred to the APPF. By March 20, 2012, all development site and convoy security will transition to the APPF. By March 20, 2013, all ISAF bases and military construction sites will transition to the APPF. The transition of these security services to the APPF is part of an the overall positive shift to Afghan-led security by 2014.


Q: Will all PSCs go away on March 20, 2012?

A: No. Some PSCs will still have a role in Afghanistan even after March 20, 2012. The first phase of transition is occurring now whereby security responsibility for all development sites and convoys will be assumed by the APPF by 20 Mar 2012. ISAF bases and military construction sites will have until March 20, 2013 to transition their security to the APPF. Embassies and entities with diplomatic status are exempt from Presidential Decree 62, and may continue to contract with PSCs for guard services.


Q: Explain the role of a Risk Management Company.

A: RMCs will not provide security services in the same manner as PSCs, but they will provide security advice and expertise to companies doing business in Afghanistan. These personnel are experts in security, risk assessment and management of security operations. In addition to advising their clients, they will provide on-site training, advising and mentoring to the APPF in order to raise the level of professionalism and capability of the APPF.


Q: Can a PSC become an RMC? If so, are we really getting rid of PSC’s?

A: A PSC can disband, establish a new legal corporate entity and relicense itself as an RMC. However, as an RMC, it will no longer maintain a force of guards and weapons, other than for self-protection. That responsibility will now lie with the APPF. Primary roles of the RMCs will be to advise their clients on security matters and to train, mentor and advise APPF personnel on-site.


Q: If a PSC has diplomatic contracts that allow it to continue doing business, can it also act as an RMC for other clients?

A: No. A company cannot be both a PSC and an RMC. It will have to choose one business model or the other. However, a PSC can establish a subsidiary -- a new legal corporate entity -- separate from the PSC, to perform RMC work. Those PSC employees who were performing development-related security work would have the choice to transfer to the APPF or they could be hired by the newly-created RMC.


Q:  How many guards does the APPF currently have? 

A: The APPF currently has a force of approximately 6,000 guards.  Its target goal is approximately 30,000 guards by March 2013. To help reach that goal, the APPF will employ guards that voluntarily transfer from their current positions in private security companies.


Q: What capacity does the APPF have to generate new guards?

A: To support the growth of APPF guards, the APPF Training Center (ATC) was established in Kabul Province.  The ATC’s current maximum training capacity is 220 Average Daily Student Load (ADSL), but the capacity is expected to grow to 500 ADSL by Summer 2012.  In an effort to increase the training capacity, the first APPF “Train the Trainer” course was completed in July 2011, graduating 44 Afghan National Police trainers.  In addition to these Afghan trainers, a group of NTM-A military mentors and DynCorp trainers works with the instructor/support cadre at the Training Center to mentor, advise, and coach.  Additionally, NTM-A will work with the APPF to establish mobile training teams and expand APPF training capability.


Q: What skills do basic guards gain by going through the three week training course at the ATC?

A: The APPF has been training security guards and securing sites in Afghanistan for several years, however the impact of PD62 has expedited the requirement to grow the APPF training and operational capability to meet the country’s existing and emerging security needs. The current basic guard course is 3 weeks in length with 74 objectives. The following are major areas of study within the Program of Instruction: Self defense, arrest procedures, body searches, handling the baton and handcuffing, handling the radio, firearms instruction (AK-47), first aid, static guard basics, basic police tactics, Islamic relations, basic knowledge on access-egress points, operating vehicles check points, conducting vehicle search searches at a checkpoint, firefighting basics, IED and mine awareness, dealing with discovered explosives before the proper authorities take over and after an explosion before the proper authorities take over. The ATC is also beginning to teach a convoy course.


Q: The APPF will be a monopoly with considerable leverage over development partners who won’t have any alternative in who they contract with for security. How do we know that they won’t try overcharge customers for security services?

A: We recognize that the transition to APPF responsibility may not represent the ideal solution for development partners and private security companies.  However, given the mandates of Presidential Decree 62, we are confident that it represents the best plan available to us.  The Afghan Government has every incentive not to price the costs of necessary security so high that they drive development projects – and private industry – out of Afghanistan.  In addition, the team of experts with the APPF Advisory Group is working hard alongside the APPF to develop pricing structures that meet the needs both the APPF and our implementing partners.


Q: How will weapons be transferred from PSCs to the APPF?

A: Weapons on the Bridging Tashkil will transfer to the APPF. PSCs will provide their weapons inventory listing to the APPF to facilitate the transition process. For weapons not on the Bridging Tashkil, PSCs will have two options. First, they can decide to export the weapons out of Afghanistan. Second, they can choose to transfer those weapons to the APPF for no charge. In this case, the APPF would not charge the customer for the use of those weapons, and it would be up to the PSC to seek considerations from the customer for the use of those weapons.


Q: Are you concerned about corruption or abuse within the APPF?

A: As we help build the capacity of numerous Afghan government entities, we are focused on anti-corruption efforts to ensure that these entities have credibility and transparency in their operations.  We are working side by side with the Afghan Government to create mechanisms within the APPF that that will ensure transparent services for APPF customers.  These include a robust quality control and quality assurance program and independent oversight. 


Q: How much more will companies have to pay for security services with the APPF than they are currently paying PSCs?

A: While it is impossible to provide exact figures at this time before contracts have been established, we expect there will be some increase in cost for companies, particularly if they choose to use the services of a Risk Management Consultancy in addition to contracting with the APPF for guards. However, the Afghan Government understands that if it charges its customers too high a price for security that they may drive development projects and private industry out of Afghanistan. A team of experts with the APPF Advisory Group is working hard to advise the APPF in developing pricing structures that meet the needs both the APPF and our implementing partners.  These costs will be clear and understood by all parties through the process of contracting with the APPF. 


Q: Will current guards have to go through the APPF training center?

A: No. Current PSC guards that have been trained and certified by their employers will not have to attend training at the ATC.


Q:  What will be the prevailing law for adjudicating contracts and what will be the remedies for non-performance?

A:  GIRoA law will govern the contracts.  In the event of a dispute, an implementing partner can work through established APPF customer service channels and dispute resolution processes to seek a remedy. If arbitration is necessary, the International Chamber of Commerce will be the preferred vehicle, either here in Afghanistan or by VTC.


Q: What grievance processes and procedures will be in place if IPs or RMCs have a dispute with the APPF?

A: In conjunction with our Afghan partners, we are developing detailed work plans, quality assurance processes, oversight, inspections, and well-defined contracting procedures to preclude these situations. We want to make these processes and procedures as simple but robust as possible. In the event of a dispute or a grievance, a customer will be able to work with a customer relations expert at the APPF headquarters and follow well-defined processes to resolve that grievance. If that does not resolve the dispute in a satisfactory manner, the parties will be able to pursue arbitration through the International Chamber of Commerce, either here in Afghanistan or by VTC.


Q:  Who is eligible to apply to be a RMC?  Can a new group apply to be a RMC?

A:  The RMC terms of reference outline the qualifications to become licensed as an RMC.  Any company that meets those criteria can apply to be a RMC.


Q: Are Implementing Partners and other commercial businesses required to use an RMC when contracting for services with the APPF? 

A: No. An RMC is not required.  That decision is up to the company. A company can go directly to APPF without an RMC if the company has security expertise of its own on staff or if it is comfortable contracting with the APPF and does not need the security expertise provided by the RMC.


Q: Will we be able to use APPF to get short-notice escorting to a specific location on a quick timeline? 

A:  You’ll need to lay out your requirements in a contract with the APPF.


Q:  How do we know that we will receive the same level of service and support provided by current PSCs? When there is no competition in the market, the incentive for the monopoly company to provide superior service decreases.

A:  The APPF leadership understands that if they do not provide security services at an internationally acceptable level at a reasonable price, then $20 billion worth of development and construction are at risk. In addition, as the APPF develops its capability and becomes more professional over time, Risk Management Companies will play an important role advising, mentoring and coaching the APPF, developing their skills and increasing their professionalism.


Q: Will the RMCs be allowed to serve as a so-called “inner cordon” on site?

A:  Yes. A small group of lightly armed RMC personnel will be allowed to serve as an inner cordon on site. Understand though that RMC personnel will not be there to provide primary security. That is the job of the APPF.


Q: In the case of RMC personnel, what is the definition of lightly-armed?  

A: RMC personnel will be allowed to carry a long weapon (e.g. AK-47) or a side arm.


Q: How much will it cost to license an RMC?

A: For national companies, the license cost will be 3 million afs ($62,000) and for international companies, the price will be 6 million afs ($124,000). Annual renewal of the license will cost about 15,000 afs ($300). A company must also post a bond of approximately 14.4 million afs ($300,000). Dollar amounts will fluctuate based on exchange rates.


Q: Will RMC consultants be authorized to be armed outside of their compounds and will they be able to sit in the front seat providing oversight when transporting clients?

A: Yes, RMC personnel will be authorized to be lightly armed for self protection and will be able to position themselves in order to best provide oversight, training and mentoring of the APPF guards.


Q: Will RMC’s be able to contract with the APPF directly for fixed site/mobile security in order for the RMC’s to protect their own compounds and move their personnel around the country?

A: Yes, RMCs that require guards for their compounds will be like any other commercial entity and be able to contract with the APPF for security services.


Q: Can companies receive RMC licenses before they hand over equipment etc?

A: Yes, we encourage companies to visit the PSC office and begin their RMC process. 


Q: What is happening with the biometric capture?

A: 5,100 current APPF guards are biometrically enrolled in the MoI Biometrics system. We have stressed the need to biometrically enroll all PSC guards who will transition to the APPF by March into the MoI system. The MoI currently has multiple Mobile Teams of 10-40 personnel on each team; depending on the size of the team, they can fully process approximately 500 personnel in 3 days. Once the APPF knows which guards that will be transferring and where they work, the mobile teams can schedule their visits to biometrically enroll all them. This requires PSCs to bring in their lists of guards as soon as possible.


Approximately 80% of the PSC guards are biometrically enrolled in the Department of Defense system. Of the transferring guards, on their Personnel Enrollment Forms there is a section asking for their DoD biometric Global Unique Identifier (GUID) number (unique number from the DoD system). If a GUID is unavailable we can try to match them using taskera numbers.  This number will be referenced with the DoD system to ensure the names match. Of those that are not enrolled/verified, we have mobile teams that can biometrically enroll the remaining guard force.


Q:  Can TCN employees of Private Security Companies transfer to the APPF?

A:  No. APPF guards must be Afghan nationals.


Q:  What constitutes “Military Construction” to be allowed the extra year until Mar 2013 to transition to APPF?

A:  Military construction is being interpreted as contracts that are executed by a DoD agency such as US Army Corps of Engineers or Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment.  Development projects are those executed by USAID or other commercial entities and will be required to transition in Mar 2012.


Q: Is there going to be an employment agreement or contract between the APPF guard and the APPF? What benefits will the guards receive? 

A: The employment contract is in the final approval stages with the Ministry of Interior. In the meantime, we can tell you that guards will receive the following benefits:


·         Salary + Hazardous Duty & Incentive Pay

·         Pension eligibility

·         Free medical care

·         20 days paid recreational leave per year

·         20 days paid sick leave per year

·         10 days paid urgent leave per year

·         Food stipend (or food provided by APPF client)

·         Martyrdom and burial payments for your family (equal to your current benefits)

·         Current rank, status and level of expertise will be taken into account when transitioning to the APPF