DOD will check out more questionable contracts in wake of Air Force scandal

The Defense Department inspector general will take a closer look at eight contracts, including several IT deals, that fell under the authority of Darleen Druyun, the recently convicted former Air Force acquisition manager.

A review of more than 400 contracts by the Defense Contract Management Agency found procurement anomalies in the eight deals, said Michael Wynne, acting undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Wynne last month asked the IG to review the contracts in greater depth.

Druyun was convicted last year of conspiring with Boeing Co.'s chief financial officer to help the company win a multibillion-dollar airplane leasing contract. She is the former principal deputy assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition and management who later became a vice president at Boeing. At her sentencing, Druyun said she had given the company preferential treatment for years while she worked for the Air Force.

Of the eight contracts facing further examination, four were awarded to Boeing between 1999 and 2002, according to details released by the Pentagon. Of the four Boeing deals, one is a $335 million to $400 million contract awarded in 2001 for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System-Conical Microwave Imager Sensor.

Two of the contracts are held by Lockheed Martin Corp.: a $561 million deal for the C-5 Avionics Modernization Program awarded in 1998 and a $42 million contract for the F-16 Mission Training Center awarded in 2001.

'In the broadest terms, IT was involved in both those programs,' said Tom Greer, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin.

'There are no indications that we did anything inappropriate regarding the contract awards,' Greer said. Defense has contacted the company, he said, and 'we stand ready to fully support those investigations and [provide] any information requested of us.'

The last two deals the IG will review are:
  • A $158 million contract for a logistics project awarded in 2002 to Systems & Electronics Inc. of St. Louis

  • An $82.5 million contract awarded in 2001 to Accenture Ltd. for the Financial Information Resource System.

The Pentagon said Wynne developed a plan to review Defense contracting procedures. The contracting agency reviews constituted the first step. The Defense Science Board task force will release a report this month that looks at the checks and balances needed to protect the integrity of acquisition decisions. Finally, the Government Accountability Office is reviewing past protests by other defense contractors based upon the actions Druyun outlined in her plea agreement.

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