recommended reading

Defense IG: Navy failed to validate contractor bills for unmanned systems program

The Navy did not validate invoices worth $329.3 million that Northrop Grumman Corp. submitted for development of a remotely piloted aircraft the service will use to conduct high-altitude ocean reconnaissance, the Defense Department inspector general said in a report issued on Dec. 23.

Northrop Grumman won the Navy's $1.2 billion Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System development and low-rate production contract in April 2008 with a proposal to integrate maritime sensor systems on the high-flying Global Hawk UAS it produces for the Air Force.

In February 2009, Northrop Grumman received a revised development contract worth $627 million, bringing the total value of the contract to $1.8 billion. The Navy plans to deploy 40 BAMS UAS to five bases around the world with the overall cost estimated at $19 billion, the Defense IG estimated.

Since the Navy and Air Force both use the same Global Hawk airframe, the BAMS program, which the Naval Air Systems Command manages, was expected to share more than $150 million worth of government-furnished equipment with the Air Force, according to the Defense IG.

But, the report said, NAVAIR did not establish with the Air Force a complete property-sharing agreement, which should have covered more than 5,000 specialized tools and test equipment.

NAVAIR contracting officials and program managers did not review any bills from Northrop Grumman prior to payment, and as a result, approved bills for $22.6 million and $21.8 million lacking any detail, auditors found.

According to the report, this failure resulted from poor contract oversight on the part of the Defense Contract Management Agency in Bethpage, N.Y., home of Northrop Grumman's integrated systems sector.

In addition, NAVAIR failed to provide contract specialists with appropriate training, the report said.

Diane Balderson, NAVAIR's assistant commander of contracts, said contracting officials had completed the required training, as well as additional training last month.

Balderson said the Air Force, Navy and Northrop Grumman will work closely to leverage assets from the two services' UAS programs, which will save millions of dollars in unnecessary costs.

Northrop Grumman officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.