'Abnormally High' Profits

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and contractor Northrop Grumman got hit hard by Pentagon's Inspector General's Office, which recommended canceling a services contract that gives Northrop "abnormally high profit rates," according to a Bloomberg news story.

The contract is worth up to $375 million. Northrop has already received $63 million in orders through the two-year-old deal.

Assistant Inspector General Richard Jolliffe wrote that the "most cost-advantageous step is to terminate the contract,'' according to the story. "There are many companies capable of providing the services required."

Agency officials said they have no plans to heed the advice. Northrop declined to comment, according to the story.

The report was laced with criticism. For instance, the agency agreed to buy new computers for the contractor at a cost of almost $800,000. "We do not consider it good management to use government funds to replace the contractor's computers in the third year of a four-year contract,'' the audit said, according to Bloomberg. Considering that Northrop Grumman "is a large, well- established major defense contractor, we consider it unconscionable" that the agency agreed to pay the costs, the story said.



By Robert O'Harrow |  October 19, 2007; 7:00 AM ET defense
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Dammit, enough already! When and the hell are these people going to get "walking papers". It appears as of late there is absolutely zero accountability for any wrong doing inside government. I have had it with the, well lets just chock it up to the old "lessons learned" justification, and press on with business as usual. We have not one true Statesman existing on either side of the isle in the House and/or the Senate with the guts to take these people down. A hell of a place that beltway; a whole lot of "talk the talk" and not one lousy ounce of "walk the walk". People of Congress, you are nothing but a coward when you are more concerned about protecting your personal political career, rather than doing what is right protecting the freedom, liberty and integrity our country was founded on. Next time you gaze in that mirror, remind the person looking back that everybody is replaceable, especially you...

Posted by: Bob Kral | October 19, 2007 12:30 PM

What is with these arrogant bastards. We give them a job to do and they refuse to do it and then thumb their noses at us. It seems that the only way to get something done right is to march up there and physically kick the s___out of them. Why do we pay them? Who appointed them (that's obvuious). We pay them, then we pay the I.G. also and they ignore him. Let's, at least fire one of them. Actually the I G is right and I bet there is a big pay off awaiting Tegnelia and Castro down the road. Why else would they be so willing to shirk their responsibilities. I say can both of the idiots and find someone who wants to do the job right.

Posted by: BarneyS | October 19, 2007 7:37 PM

We can fuss and fume all we want, but the truth is that the circle of customer-supplier-customer within government contracts is a closed affair, with most players at the top having held serious positions in both the agencies and the corporations. In President Eisenhower's day, we had the
CEOs of General Electric and General Motors (both named Charlie, I believe) holding cabinet positions. You can't tell me that wasn't reflected right down the chains of command. In this administration, the CEOs don't bother to come in to the government -- they just send in the flunkies, because Bush and Cheney (himself a former CEO still collecting $150 grand annually plus stock options while throwing truckloads of cash to his "former" company)can be relied on to maintain the system. The average citizen who pays these bills while corporation taxes are diverted away from the IRS will never be able to rein in these unpatriotic sleazebags,
regardless of which political party is involved. The same crap occurred under President Johnson and President Truman, so the Democrats are no angels either. If only we could follow "Deep Throat's" advice and follow the money.

Posted by: Richard Q. | October 19, 2007 9:55 PM

The Muslim's have, if little else, shown that a determined person can change things.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2007 6:05 PM

I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore.lol

Posted by: rwwalters | October 22, 2007 8:44 AM

We don't need to investigate these abuses. There must be signed contracts for this outrageous abuse. Just fire everyone who signed the contract.

Posted by: Gary C | October 22, 2007 8:47 AM

I'm tired of lying, cheating, unethical politicans who care more for themselves then the people they represent. Lets stop tolarating and get rid of them. Our watchdog system obviouly does not work, so they continue to benefit and laugh all the way to the bank.

Posted by: clyde wilcox | October 22, 2007 12:02 PM

Is this not the norm for our leaders, which by the way we have no leaders. That is why the republic is in trouble. God bless the U.S of A. We are in desperate need of leaders.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 9:59 AM

Is this suppose to surpise us, I would just like to see how much of this money, went to building weapons. The more I read and look into goverment, we have a monster on or hands. And how do you stop them when 50% of the people work directly for them, are there job is so how link to the goverment. The Goverment is way to large for a free society to support.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 4:51 PM

The only way to end all the corruption, subsidies, no-bid contracts, etc. is by revolution. Either armed revolt or complete electoral victory. Armed revolt is currently out of the question. We desperately need a third party, one in which none of the candidates are beholden to any monyed interests. Who among you bloggers is energetic and young enough to begin the process?

Posted by: alsofedup | October 24, 2007 9:38 AM

WE must remember the "bringing home the bacon" aspect to all of this. These defence contractors, from the states who work so diligently to keep these companies inside their states, have voters. "Bringing home the bacon" means that other states will have to pay the tab. But who cares since we have jobs in our state. I have empathy for Congress. They are damned if they do and they are damned if they don't. WAKE UP AMERICA AND THINK FOR A CHANGE. COME UP WITH A SOLUTION. WE KNOW YOU CAN COMPLAIN.

Posted by: Roger | October 24, 2007 3:58 PM

The solution is this: require all candidates to accept the same amount of federal funds to run their political campaigns. Outlaw political action committees; contrary to our Supreme Court (tm), money is not "speech".

Once the candidates are no longer reliant on massive political contributions to achieve and maintain their offices, they will no longer be beholden to their corporate overlords. Moreover, will have to win elections on the strength of their platforms and their performance while in office rather than the bedazzlement of their multi-million dollar advertising blitzes. Shutting down large-scale government corruption will then be viewed as a positive goal rather than something to be avoided at all costs, because those who act responsibly will (hopefully) be rewarded by the public rather than buried by massive contributions to opponents' campaigns.

Posted by: Ian | October 25, 2007 12:59 PM

A lot of EXCELLENT POINTS! But, do any of you who recognize some of the problems and complain also research the issues and write your elected representatives? It takes action, besides complaining, to make a difference. Richard Q. has a very god perspective on the issue, "follow the money". Clyde Wilcox, we are part of the "watchdog system"; well written letters to congress addressing our concerns and requesting their support of our positions is a significant part of the system. Write those politicians and hold them accountable; see govspot.com for contact and other info. Alsofedup, a third party, or independent, would be good with me also. But, how about we direct our energy at making the ones we have work properly by being active ourselves in writing them and campaigning for and against those running. I am 'young' and energetic enough, and independent enough with moral convictions; unfortunately I am not rich enough to compete. Roger, I agree! We need to communicate solutions to those we elect to represent us and be persistent that they act on our desired solutions. We, "the people", must take action! Not just complain. Everyone should take heed to Ian's input, excellent suggestion; are we all going to write our rep's to press this solution with them?

Another point to include in shutting down the corruption is to stop and reverse contracting out government service jobs. There is a need for contract support positions that are well managed. Unfortunately, a lot of the responsibility of contract oversight is performed by people who don't have knowledge about what they are overseeing. This is accomplished through poor federal leadership and management, who have minimal accountability for their performance. Heard of the new National Security Personnel System being implemented in DoD? What a scam on the public this system presents. Those managers and 'leaders', who are basically not held accountable, are provided more ability to mismanage subordinates and federal money through a designed dictatorship personnel system within the federal service. The public has no clue of the truth, just the political spin; like "downsizing government". "Downsizing government" equates to replacing a government employee with a contractor and then not counting that contractor as part of the government so one can represent that there are fewer "employees"; what a lie. On top of that, the contractor is paid more for the service either initially or eventually through contract modifications.

The Federal Civil Service was created to help prevent such corruption as develops through the use of private industry to perform public service. Think about it; recall "follow the money"? Who do you think provides the over whelming majority of money to politicians; private industry or a federal employee? Not hard to figure out. Politicians keep Private Industry performing government service for a very good profit - Private Industry provides politicians the money to maintain office and control of the federal money flow. Those two players win, the public taxpayer gets screwed and doesn't even know, or doesn't get the lead out of their rear and do something about it! The rich get richer and the rest of us just lolly gag along fat dumb and complaining.

DO SOMEHTING! GET INVOLVED! TAKE ACTION! BE AN "ACTIVIST"! Write your representatives, Oppose DoD's NSPS, Oppose contracting out government service jobs, Demand that election and political funding be modified to be fair and less controlling of the process, the representation system, and the function of the Federal Government! I do so almost weekly. I am an officer in AFGE, a federal employee union. I don't just complain; I take action! Will you?

Posted by: 25yr Fed Employee | October 26, 2007 7:28 AM

All the citizens of the US are fed up...and so many are saying enough already. There is only ONE SOLUTION...QUIT PAYING TAXES!!!

Posted by: Snooks | October 30, 2007 12:00 PM

25yr Fed Employee...yes, kind citizen, there are a lot of us out here who have spent more than your age in years petitioning, holding protest signs, writing, calling and far more creative measures. Just about every single day.

My oldest son is sitting in a Texas prison for my doing all that. Remember, this is Bush country before he got to the belt.

No, sir, there is no one listening who can make a difference OR that person has joined the ranks of the corrupt.

I agree, WE THE PEOPLE have to devise an intelligent measure to stop this leviathan government; excuse me, legalized organized crime. Follow the money...this is far worse than Watergate. We must STOP THE MONEY.

And I love this country and you all!

Posted by: Rockylrue | October 31, 2007 10:25 PM

THIS SHOULD GET YOUR CRAWL, THE OIL COMPANIES DID NOT MAKE AS MUCH AS LAST QUARTER BUT STILL MADE A BUNCH OF PROFIT.I REALLY FEEL SORRY FOR THEM MAYBE WE THE PEOPLE SHOULD GIVE THEM MORE TAX INSEMTIVES.

Posted by: JIMMY G | November 5, 2007 12:12 PM

Rockylrue.... Thank you for your many years of dedicated efforts to make a difference. I take confidence in believing that you have made, and will continue to make, a difference. Though we may not achieve 100% of our goals, or may not be made aware of the impact of our efforts, we take the initiative to at least make an effort to make positive change.

In my opinion, the result is in God's hands, but the responsibility to take action is ours. I remain hopeful that others will also take the position of action, not just complaining.

I am truly sorry that your son has been imprisoned. Such as Paul did, I am hopeful that your son shall also make a difference wherever he is placed in life.

In regard to "no one listening, or that person has joined the ranks of the corrupt", as I previously indicated, we all should take heed to Ian's input; an excellent suggestion. I believe that such leveling of the political field of play has significant merit as a solution to improve our system of representation. It appears the current system is dictated by those with the most money acquired being the chosen for us to compete for our vote. The average citizen who is most likely closest to the sentiment of the people has no chance to even compete in reality. Ian's suggestion has merit to enable changing the leverage of who competes for the vote of those to be represented. Then maybe it would be more motivating to the overwhelming majority who don't vote to put their butts in gear and participate.

Though this may seem to have diverged from the original subject; it is those empowered as our representatives who are suppose to oversee the proper use of our tax contributions and eliminate the fraud waste and abuse such as conducted through the excessive use of private industry to perform civil service functions. Such excessive contracting out and lack of oversight causes fraud, waste, and abuse, as exemplified in the article "Abnormally High Profits".

This is the greatest country in the world, but not as great as it could be if "We the people" had more contribution to its functional operation instead of just its financial operation. I can't agree with Snooks, paying taxes is the reality of having a governing entity, which is a necessary evil. For most of us, I believe, the problem is not as much that we pay taxes as it is that we expect to get what we pay for. And we don't appear to be getting much for our money in general representation and federal financial responsibility. If we were getting optimum service for our money, less waste, we would likely be paying less in taxes; something with which we all could live better. Thus likely enabling us to: spend more, improve the economy, and increase jobs (which would increase the number of taxable incomes). Do you think such a concept could get taxes and the economy back to where a family could live on one income? Oh, I forgot about the rich getting richer part, guess it couldn't get past the government hierarchy without it.

Keep up the fight!

Posted by: 25yr Fed Employee | November 5, 2007 1:21 PM

Rockylrue, 25-Year ... , et.al., I am one of those "overpaid slobs" sucking down your defense dollars and my wife is a Federal DoD employee. Granted, we are both paid well, but we are degreed, are in our later fifties, and have worked our way up to higher salary ranges through education, effort and perserverance. I can recall less than 2 years of my life since age 16 when I held less than 2 jobs or business positions. She waited tables and I pumped gas to pay for that education. In other words, we work for what we get... and then some. There is hardly an evening or a weekend that one or both of us does not have the laptop at home completing tasks that need doing for the next day. There was a laptop on our last vacation, and one or both of us was in contact with the office/monitored a teleconference/worked at least a short period each day while there. We are both salaried, so those at-home hours are free to you. (You're welcome.) Do you bring home your boss' tasks 4-5 days out of every 7? Actually, we are not that exceptional in the defence world. A large portion of our peers work similar amounts to get it done for our forces.
Please don't misunderstand. We took the job assignments and are willing to do the work. We like to think we are actually making a difference supporting our armed forces who are paying the TRUE cost so we can all sit here and pontificate on how to "make it better". We don't mind the work, but I do chafe at self-established experts who lay the woes of the country at the feet of defense.
I suggest you look instead at the social welfare state we have created. Look at Federal entitlements (if you do not know what it means, PLEASE look it up. You need to be informed on that subject)Now start at, say 1970 or 1975 and record the percentage of our GDP that was spent on defense and the percentage spent on entitlements (and other social welfare programs in general) Now leap forward to , say, 2005 and look at percentages for the same areas. (It's there on the internet- just look) I think you just determined a large part of your problem. Now register, vote and get active to help cut some pork and entitlements out of that budget. It really will NOT hurt "their" psyche if they actually have to work for it.

Posted by: Perturbed | November 6, 2007 2:42 PM

I read alot of ranting and raving about our elected officials not doing anything or, not doing what we want them to do. Hmm, maybe we are not doing what we should be doing. A major problem is we forget about these criminal and immoral acts to soon. Why, Mrs. Clinton was going to give us a much better health care plan when her husband was first elected. We paid her big bucks to come up with this plan. Apparently we did not pay her enough. It is well known that once the medical and drug lobbies got to her, she, and her plan for better health care silently slipped of of the front page of our news media, and finally the idea of a better health plan was taken up by others to promote themselves or their cause.

Did she return any of the money she took from us as fee for workimg hard to devise this plan? Sadly, not a dime

Now some years later, after continuing to display the old "about face" method of politicing. She knows for sure how easily we forget and is using health care reform on her platform to run for the Presidency.

Someone, several of you actually, commented on our lack of leaders and leadership. This is true for sure in sen.Mrs.H.R. Clinton. She is absolutely counting on our short memories during her run for office. Better make that a fast walk for office there sen.Mrs. C, we wouldn't want any thing falling out of the new lower cut blouses you are wearing these days.

Forget she was easily bought off on her health care plan. Forget how she turned a blind eye and stood by her man, so she could ride his coat tails to bigger and better things. For get about her abismal performance in the Senate flip-flopping her opinion on major, crucial, issues just to be sure she appears to be P.C..

She wants to be that strong, moral (choke choke)independent leader we have been talking about.

Well, sen.Mrs William Jefferson Clinton, concerning your attempt to do a little side step into the White House . . . Forget about it!

Posted by: K.C. MO. | November 6, 2007 3:35 PM

Good site! I'll stay reading! Keep improving!

Posted by: George | November 10, 2007 11:51 AM

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