POGO Updates Contractor Misconduct Database
In 2008, the US government set up a database for its own use, to track various forms of contractor misconduct. That database hasn’t been made public, but the American Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has collated information from various sources, and stepped into the gap at ContractorMisconduct.org. Their latest update adds 2007 contract data from USASpending.gov, and misconduct data from a range of other sources.
Defense firms are strongly represented among the top-earning federal contractors, which isn’t entirely surprising given industry consolidation over the past couple of decades. All of the top 10, and 15 of the top 20 individual contractors, have strong links to the defense industry. With respect to misconduct instances since 1995, #1 earner Lockheed Martin is also #1 (50), while #2 earner Boeing is 4th (31). Other defense-related firms in the negative 10 include G.E. (3rd, though their reach is far wider than defense), Honeywell (5th), Northrop Grumman (6th) and KBR (10th). Exxon Mobil, BP, Valero, and the University of California round out the negative 10.
“Misconduct” is a wide-ranging term that covers instances of environmental violations, prohibited trade and negotiating practices, labor issues, lawsuits launched by private citizens, securities fraud settlements, and more. There’s even one case involving employee embezzlement from the company PAC(Political Action Committee, a vehicle for campaign contributions).
We’d be remiss if we failed to mention several firms with significant defense-related accounts, who received more than $1 billion in FY 2007 federal contracts, but have no instances of misconduct since 1995. In descending order of FY 2007 contract totals, they include Oshkosh Truck, The Bell-Boeing Joint Program (V-22 Osprey), PWC Logistics, Rockwell Collins, and EDO Corp. (now ITT).