The Project On Government Oversight released a letter today to the Acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense, expressing strong concerns regarding inappropriate influence exerted over the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) by the Air Force and Lockheed Martin.
In the wake of the GAO’s findings of inadequate independence of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), POGO believes these incidents clearly point to a deep cultural problem for Pentagon oversight agencies. The letter to Gordon S. Heddell, the Acting Inspector General, calls on him to investigate the inappropriate use of government resources, time and effort spent by an agency inside the Department of Defense working with a contractor to thwart Secretary Rumsfeld’s decision to terminate the troubled C-130J airplane.
This particular case, cited in the letter, is an award justification for the performance of an employee of the DCMA located at the Lockheed Martin Marietta plant in Georgia during calendar year 2005. The award justification commends the employee’s role as lead focal point in providing support to the Department of the Air Force in its efforts to challenge the Presidential Budget Decision concerning the C-130J program.
“The flagrant and arrogant abuse of giving an award to a DCMA employee because of his work with the Air Force and Lockheed in undermining both the Secretary of Defense and Senator McCain demands a thorough review by the IG and Congress,” said Danielle Brian, Executive Director of POGO.
POGO is raising this latest example of a failed Pentagon oversight system as the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is preparing to hold a hearing on Wednesday, September 10, over recent allegations of inappropriate interference within the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), another one of the key oversight agencies for DOD. It is responsible for providing accounting and financial advice to all DOD components on contracts and subcontracts. The credibility and integrity of DOD’s oversight agencies has been seriously compromised as a result of these actions.
In addition, POGO points to the DOD IG’s June 2006 report that found fictitious figures were provided to support the continued purchase of the C-130J aircraft under a Multi-Year Procurement. Those fake numbers also served to lend credence to the idea that it was a good deal for the taxpayers that the cancelled C-130J program be revived.