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Intelligence Watchdog Finds Contractor Abuses

Typing on a computer

Last week brought news that another Booz Allen Hamilton employee was accused of improperly removing sensitive material from the National Security Agency (NSA). Harold Thomas Martin III was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials. The government alleges Martin took documents and digital files containing information that, if disclosed, “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

It was another black eye for Booz Allen, which was NSA surveillance program whistleblower Edward Snowden’s employer. It was equally embarrassing for the U.S. intelligence community, which pays contractors like Booz Allen billions of dollars each year to help run its global operations and keep a tight lid on our country’s more sensitive secrets.

Just days after the Harold Martin story broke, U.S. intelligence contractors were again in the spotlight. On Sunday, VICE News reporter Jason Leopold posted hundreds of pages of Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) investigative reports. The documents contain the juicy—and occasionally disturbing—details of misconduct investigations conducted by the ICIG, the watchdog office that oversees the federal intelligence agencies. Most of the cases involved employees of Booz Allen and other prominent contractors.

Specifically, the documents contain dozens of instances when contractor employees fudged their timesheets, billing the government for time they were not at work or when they engaged in activities either personal in nature or outside the scope of the contract. The heavily redacted pages include 38 substantiated cases of contractor overbilling, amounting to a total loss to the government of more than $2.5 million. A few particularly egregious cases stand out:

  • A Booz Allen employee falsely charged 123.5 hours from October 2013 to September 2014 for a total overcharge of $10,706. He admitted he would leave work early and bill an additional 15 to 30 minutes of time “to round out his hours for the day,” according to the ICIG.
  • Another Booz Allen employee falsely billed 304.5 hours from October 2013 to July 2014 at a total cost of $35,508.
  • An SAIC employee “improperly and excessively” used the internet at the National Counterterrorism Center for such non-work activities as sending instant messages to friends, checking online dating sites, and viewing images of “scantily clad or naked women.” The ICIG estimated that, between 2006 and 2012, the employee spent approximately 95 percent of his Internet usage time—more than 10,000 hours—for personal purposes, costing taxpayers more than $925,000.
  • Another SAIC employee used his government computer to engage in sex chats “on a near daily basis” between May 2010 and July 2013. The ICIG was unable to quantify the amount of the mischarge.
  • A MITRE Corporation engineer billed the government for 665 hours—at $141.74 per hour—when she was not at her worksite. She also used her government internet account for personal purposes for 117 hours. These were not innocent mistakes: the ICIG found she had violated federal fraud laws.
  • A Maverick LLC employee billed $24,400 for almost 169 hours of unaccounted-for time between April and September 2012. During an interview with the ICIG, he admitted to sending sexually explicit emails to his wife over a government computer and billing the government for that time.

The ICIG also found that some contractor employees, while working on extremely sensitive intelligence programs and operations, risked exposing classified information by using non-secure networks and computers. They did so while working for some of the government’s most trusted private sector partners: Booz Allen and SAIC are among only a handful of private firms that collectively employ nearly all of the intelligence community’s contractor workforce.

The implications of the VICE News revelations are enormous. Not only did the contractor employees rip off taxpayers, they also compromised national security. The ICIG reports bolster POGO’s concern that contractor timesheet fraud is especially rampant among intelligence programs due to a lack of transparency and insufficient contract oversight. However, they also give us a reason to be optimistic: they show that the intelligence watchdog takes its role seriously and doggedly pursues allegations of wrongdoing.

Intelligence Contractor Misconduct

Contractor Mischarged Hours Hourly Billing Rate Cost
(rounded to nearest $)
Contract Start Date
(earliest date, if multiple contracts)
Contract End Date
(latest date, if multiple contracts)
Misconduct
ACET 406.25 $141.73 $57,578 October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours Boeing 208.75 $114.85 - $115.15 $24,024 October 2013 September 2014 Unaccounted Hours Booz Allen Hamilton 123.5 $87.04 $10,706 October 2013 September 2014 Unaccounted Hours CACI International, Inc. 93 (not provided) (not provided) October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours CACI International, Inc. 670 (not provided) (not provided) October 2011 October 2012 Conducted Personal Business; Unaccounted Hours Celerity 184.25 $96.93 $17,859 April 2012 January 2013 Unaccounted Hours Centra Technology 306 $89.14 $27,301 June 2012 July 2013 Unaccounted Hours Cleared Solutions 246 $146.45 $36,026 November 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours General Dynamics 272.75 $102.83 $28,047 October 2011 October 2012 Conducted Personal Business IBM 52.75 (not provided) (not provided) February 2012 July 2012 Unaccounted Hours Integrity Applications Incorporated 59 (not provided) (not provided) October 2013 September 2014 Discrepancy in Hours K2 Solutions 77 $152.96 $11,778 October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours K2 Solutions 105.5 $198.56 $20,948 October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours KPMG 516.25 $173.19 - $173.88 $89,524 October 2013 February 2015 Unaccounted Hours LGS 292.69 $152.72 $44,700 October 2011 March 2013 False and Inaccurate Labor Hours LMN 60 $134.00 $8,040 November 2013 September 2014 Unaccounted Hours ManTech International Corp. 3,502 $125.00 $437,800 January 2005 July 2012 Unaccounted Hours Maverick LLC 168.75 $145.00 $24,469 April 2012 September 2012 Conducted Personal Business; Unaccounted Hours MITRE Corp. 782 $141.74 $110,841 May 2011 October 2012 Conducted Personal Business; Fraud Finding; Unaccounted Hours MITRE Corp. 424 $76.53 $32,429 October 2011 March 2013 Unaccounted Hours Obduro Corp. LLC 739 $179.04 $132,311 October 2011 March 2013 Conducted Personal Business; False Statement to Investigators; Unaccounted Hours SAIC 10,045 $84.25 - $96.08 $925,747 November 2006 March 2012 Conducted Personal Business SAIC 16.75 $157.25 $2,634 February 2012 July 2012 Unaccounted Hours SAIC 130.25 $161.22 $20,998 January 2012 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours SAIC 510 $110.87 $56,543 October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours SAIC (not provided) (not provided) (not provided) May 2010 October 2012 Conducted Personal Business; Misuse of Government Property Scitor Corp. 10.5 (not provided) (not provided) (not provided) (not provided) Unaccounted Hours Scitor Corp./Booz Allen Hamilton 304.5 $116.61 $35,508 October 2013 July 2014 Unaccounted Hours TASC 652 (not provided) (not provided) October 2011 October 2012 Conducted Personal Business; Unaccounted Hours TASC 224 (not provided) (not provided) January 2012 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours TASC 496 $104.05 $51,608 February 2012 April 2013 Conducted Personal Business; Unaccounted Hours TASC 291 $136.39 $39,689 October 2011 February 2013 Unaccounted Hours TASC 1,771.60 $116.45 $206,302 January 2009 June 2012 Unaccounted Hours Unknown 567.75 (not provided) (not provided) February 2012 July 2012 Conducted Personal Business; Unaccounted Hours Unknown 142.75 $250.00 $35,688 October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours Unknown 294.25 $158.00 $44,492 October 2011 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours Unknown 84 $137.00 $11,508 July 2012 October 2012 Unaccounted Hours Unknown 1,071.75 (not provided) (not provided) (not provided) (not provided) Conducted Personal Business; Discrepancy in Hours TOTALS 25,901.54 $2,545,098

Source: Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, courtesy of Vice News | Download the spreadsheet

By: Neil Gordon
Investigator, POGO

Neil Gordon, Investigator Neil Gordon is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight. Neil investigates and maintains POGO's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

Topics: National Security, Contract Oversight

Related Content: Government Secrecy, Contractor Accountability, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Contractor Misconduct, Federal Contractor Misconduct, Government Privatization

Authors: Neil Gordon

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