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Air Force Lifts Booz Allen Suspension, Contractor Admits to “Broader Systemic Ethical Deficiencies” and “Additional Improper Actions”

Neil Gordon – (POGO) – April 17, 2012 – On Friday, Booz Allen Hamilton announced that its San Antonio office was removed from the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) and regained full eligibility to compete for new federal contracts. Booz Allen entered into a three-year administrative agreement with the U.S. Air Force. We strongly encourage you to read the agreement, which contains several astonishing admissions about the company’s ethics environment and business practices.

POGO blog readers may remember that Booz Allen’s San Antonio office was proposed for debarment in February because, in April 2011, an employee at the office disseminated protected, non-public procurement information in apparent violation of the Procurement Integrity Act. On his first day of work, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Joselito Meneses shared with his co-workers sensitive pricing data he had obtained while at the Air Force that gave Booz Allen an unfair competitive advantage in an upcoming procurement. Meneses and four of the co-workers with whom he shared the data were also proposed for debarment. (A search of the EPLS today reveals that Meneses and two co-workers are still proposed for debarment. The other two employees’ suspensions were lifted in March.)

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Grounds for debarment or too big to fail?

Suspend a Big Government Contractor. “Too big to fail” is a term thrown around the financial world quite a bit these days, but apparently it applies to the government contracting industry as well. As it stands right now, there are large contractors that would never make it on the suspended or debarred list, simply because they do so much business with the government. There are a few examples of large contractors being suspended for a short period of time, but never anything that leaves a mark. If this administration really wants to make a stand on contracting ethics, it would give a serious suspension to a large contractor that commits a violation to show that no company is above the law. ~Government Contractors Gaming The System, Ethisphere

POGO has recently posted  two articles with more details on the latest procurement fraud scandal to hit the defense contracting industry, this time it is Booz Allen Hamilton on the hot-seat.  Before you click on those links, let’s take a trip back in time to February 2009.

Almost three years ago to the day of the Booz Allen incident another similar incident came to light which resulted in a mere slap on the wrist for the offending contractor and their program manager, who also happened to be a retired military officer.
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