The federal government’s largest contractors have paid $25.3 billion in fines and penalties for everything from A to Z: from improper accounting practices to selling the government defective Zylon body armor. These and more than 1,400 other misconduct instances can be found in the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD), which has now been updated with fiscal year 2010’s top 100 ranking. [Note: The FCMD is published by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), a nonprofit watchdog group.]
The top 100 features 7 new contractors, including international accounting firm Deloitte LLP, package delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS), and linguistic services provider Mission Essential Personnel. The FCMD now includes misconduct information on 160 of the federal government’s largest suppliers of goods and services.
The top 100 contractors received $276 billion in contracts last fiscal year, accounting for slightly more than half of the $536 billion in contracts awarded that year. As of today, these 100 contractors have accumulated 821 misconduct instances. Thirty-eight of the top 100 have zero or one instance, a reminder that misconduct need not be accepted as a cost of doing business with the federal government.
As has occurred in the past, the USAspending.gov data on which the top 100 ranking is based contains errors. Therefore, you will see double listings for Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
Among the instances you will find in the FCMD:
- A Department of Defense Inspector General finding that Boeing overcharged the Army by about $13 million (131.5 percent) for spare helicopter parts.
- A DoD Inspector General audit report issued 4 months later that found United Technologies’ Sikorsky Aircraft unit overcharged the U.S. Army by as much as $12 million for Blackhawk helicopter spare parts.
- BP’s agreement to provide $1 billion to begin restoration efforts following last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- The assault plea of a former DynCorp employee who stabbed a man in Afghanistan in November 2010.
- FedEx’s agreement to pay the United States $8 million to resolve allegations of overcharging federal agencies for package deliveries.
- The $4 million settlement of claims that Fluor employees defrauded the federal purchase card (“P-card”) program at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Nuclear Site.
- Honeywell International’s payment of millions in fines to federal and state authorities for environmental and safety violations at its uranium hexafluoride (UF6) conversion facility in Illinois.
- Humana’s $3.4 million fine for violating Florida’s Medicaid fraud reporting law.
- IBM’s $10 million settlement of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges that its Korean and Chinese subsidiaries gave bribes to government officials.
- Corruption charges brought against former SAIC employees alleged to have received kickbacks and overcharged New York City on the CityTime information technology project.
POGO’s FCMD complements the federal government’s contractor responsibility database, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System, or FAPIIS. POGO was pleased to discover the recent addition of several new useful features to FAPIIS, which is on its way to becoming an indispensable resource that strengthens accountability over the more than $1 trillion in taxpayer money spent each year on federal contracts and grants.
— Neil Gordon is a POGO Investigator. Published Sept. 29, 2011 at http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2011/09/move-over-fapiis-pogo-freshens-up-its-contractor-misconduct-database.html.