Back in February 2006, “The Pentagon’s Broken Book-keeping” discussed the depth of the problems inherent in trying to audit that organization. It’s not that the US Department of Defense fails audits. The problem is more fundamental: it is not currently possible to audit it, and any comprehensive audit would be a first-ever event in modern times.
This topic can seem trivial, but the Pentagon’s accounting problems are not limited to issues of day to day functioning. They also go right to the heart of the American political system’s ability to properly evaluate and learn from procurement decisions over the long term.
On June 18/09, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dr. Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced bill S.1287, the Department of Defense Financial Accountability Act of 2009, which sets a progressive deadlines for the Department of Defense to undergo a complete audit of its financial statements. DID offers more information about the bill, and excerpts from a special supplement to the Pentagon’s FY 2010 budget documents…
The Elbit Systems/Rockwell Collins joint venture Vision Systems International, LLC recently announced $54.1 million in contracts. These awards will begin production of their Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS), which will equip all American and exported F-35 fighters. The contracts will cover low rate initial production (LRIP) Lots 1, 2 and 3, and run through 2012. They include Lockheed Martin’s purchase of 52 F-35 Gen II Helmet Mounted Displays, and 30 aircraft shipsets. VSI also received contracts for production tooling and initial funding for the Pilot Fit Facility Standup at Eglin Air Force Base, FL.
HMDS is a significant advance over its predecessors – which are themselves a significant advance over a technology that changed fighter pilots’ worlds in the 1960s and 1970s.
InGenesis Arora received a $110 million single-vendor contract to provide an estimated 270 dentists and other dental personnel to 10 U.S. Army dental treatment facilities in Georgia (Fort Stewart, Fort Benning, Hunter Army Base, Fort McPhearson, Fort Gordon); Alabama (Fort Rucker, Redstone); Mississippi (Camp Shelby); Kentucky (Fort Campbell); and South Carolina (Fort Jackson). The US Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Center for Health Care Contracting manages the contract (W81K0408R0013), which takes effect October 1/09, for a period of 5 years.
DID has more on the types of dental personnel that InGenesis Arora will provide…
The newest addition to Britain’s front-line kit will be familiar to some recreational drivers. A GBP 5 million (about $8.25 million) contract with Yamaha and Logic will supply another 200 quad-bike all terrain vehicles and modified trailers. This adds to a previous buy of 250 Yamaha Grizzly 450s.
The quad bikes can reach speeds of up to 75 km/ 46 miles per hour, can carry up to almost 160 kg/ 350 pounds with the trailer attached, and are already in use by he 16th Air Assault Brigade to deliver food, water and ammunition to troops on the front line. Upgrades include a left hand throttle which provides greater maneuverability, and dual-stretcher fit on the trailers. As one of our readers points out, however, 5 million divided by 200 is GBP 25,000 each. In contrast…
BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services in Rockville, MD received a $9.8 million modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (N00421-06-D-0038) for the procurement and installation of 55 electronic flight bags with civil GPS capabilities for the C-130T transport aircraft. Under this modification, BAE Systems will also provide 45 install kits, 23 instrument display systems and 45 engine instrument display systems. BAE Systems will perform the work in Crestview, FL (90 percent) and California, MD (10 percent) and expects to complete it by September 2011. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, MD manages the contract.
Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH received the fourth option, worth $6.9 million, under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (N62473-07-D-4013) to provide environmental services and technology to U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps installations and commands worldwide. Battelle will provide engineering and incidental services for research, development, testing, evaluation, and implementation of environmental technologies, strategies and techniques; operation of sites and systems, including maintenance and monitoring; and technical consultation.
The total estimated contract amount after exercise of this final option is $30 million. Battelle will perform the work at various Navy, Marine Corps, and other federal locations worldwide. It expects to complete the work by June 2010. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions in Port Hueneme, CA manages the contract.