Torture isn't the only concept that Washington is having a problem with defining?
A Contractor, Charity And Magnet for Federal Earmarks
By Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 2, 2007; Page A01
Concurrent Technologies began two decades ago doing metalworking research in Pennsylvania's struggling rust belt. In the years since, the Johnstown, Pa., company has become a federal contracting chameleon.
It is an intelligence adviser, an environmental consultant and a software engineering specialist. It has trained mine-detecting dogs and managed religion-based initiatives. It oversees construction projects, organizes conferences and studies ways to use hydrogen for fuel in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Missile-defense research is part of its portfolio. So is the development of special armor for combat vehicles in Iraq and "solid waste technology" in Florida.
And it is a nonprofit charity.
Behind the rise of Concurrent is Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, who helped arrange funding to launch the organization in 1988. Murtha has since arranged millions of dollars more in directed congressional appropriations called earmarks. Now Concurrent has nearly $250 million in annual revenue and 1,500 employees.
Concurrent is a prime example of how to marry entrepreneurial savvy, influence on Capitol Hill and arcane procurement rules to create budget magnets in congressional districts. Unlike many other big contractors, Concurrent pays no income tax on most of its revenue. Unlike nonprofit, federally funded research-and-development corporations, it is not chartered by the federal government.