Mar 12, 2008 19:00 UTC
America’s Congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been conducting annual reviews of the F-35 A/B/C Joint Strike Fighter program for several years, analyzing everything from program approach to the wisdom of the program’s dual-source structure for the fighters’ engines. The GAO has a long-standing disagreement with the program over timing, and especially the decision to begin low-rate initial production before testing is complete in 2013. It has also backed the dual-source engine program as more expensive in the short run, but likely to save money in the long run; that backing has helped secure the votes in Congress to reinstate the dual-source approach for 2 years running.
In a sense, therefore, the most recent March 11/08 report and testimony could be seen as the running continuation of earlier disagreements. The report also contains summaries of program progress to date, however, and the warnings contained in its high level assessments are likely to have ripple effects in the USA and abroad…
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Mar 12, 2008 17:39 UTC
In recent years, the US Department of Defense has moved civilians into positions of responsibility alongside DoD employees. Some work is straightforward – public relations, facility maintenance, et. al. Other work contains the potential for entanglement, such as developing contract requirements and advising on award fees for other contractors. The Congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to assess (1) how many contractor employees work in DOD offices and what type of mission-critical contracted services they perform, (2) what safeguards there are to prevent personal conflicts of interest for contractor employees when performing DOD’s tasks, and (3) whether government and defense contractor officials believe additional safeguards are necessary. GAO’s summary notes that:
“In contrast to federal employees, few government ethics laws and DOD-wide policies are in place to prevent personal conflicts of interest for defense contractor employees… Some DOD offices and defense contractor companies are voluntarily adopting safeguards… In general, government officials believed that current requirements are inadequate to prevent conflicts from arising for certain contractor employees influencing DOD decisions, especially financial conflicts of interest and impaired impartiality. Some program managers and defense contractor officials expressed concern that adding new safeguards will increase costs. But ethics officials and senior leaders countered that, given the risk associated with personal conflicts of interest and the expanding roles that contractor employees play, such safeguards are necessary.”
Read the full report: Report page | Plain Text | PDF, 52 pages.
Mar 12, 2008 15:45 UTC
MAN SX, up-armored
A deal announced on June 29, 2006 by UK Defence Procurement Minister Lord Drayson will add more trucks to Britain’s program to replace its Armed Forces’ tri-service fleet of 4-tonne, 8-tonne, and 14-tonne cargo and recovery trucks. The UK Ministry of Defense release notes that it is exercising an option for 2,077 more vehicles, extending the GBP 1.1 Billion contract it placed with MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG subsidiary MAN ERF UK Ltd by about GBP 250 million.
In July 2006, the British Ministry of Defence placed the follow-on order even before the vehicles in the main order, which were undergoing field trials, had been delivered. This update notes additional details that have emerged re: the trucks, and progress with deliveries as the UK prepares to deploy them abroad…
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