Contractor watchdog updates misconduct database

Lockheed Martin Corp. retains its position as the federal contractor with the most instances of alleged misconduct in an updated database published by the Project on Government Oversight watchdog group.

Lockheed Martin had 48 alleged instances of misconduct from 1995 to 2006, followed by Exxon Mobil, 37 instances; General Electric Co., 31; Boeing Co., 30; Honeywell Corp., 29; and Northrop Grumman Corp., 26, according to POGOS's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

Lockheed Martin was in first place on last year's list as well, followed by Boeing and Northrop Grumman.

The POGO database is controversial among contractors because it includes instances in which violations are alleged and settlement terms are agreed upon without an admission of wrongdoing. POGO officials say that information ought to be included and made public to show whether a contractor has a pattern of settling allegations of violations.

Twenty-five of the largest 100 federal contractors in the updated database do not have any known instances of misconduct, POGO said in a news release.

"The fact that one quarter of the government's top 100 contractors have no known instances of misconduct belies the myth that any company big enough to do business with the government will inevitably have multiple instances of wrongdoing," the release said.

In addition, 14 of the contractors only have one instance of misconduct in the database, which means 39 of the top 100 government contractors do not show a pattern of misconduct, the group said.

Misconduct is defined as a violation of civil, criminal or administrative laws and regulations, including fraud, antitrust, environmental, securities and labor law violations.

POGO recently updated the database to include fiscal 2006; it has maintained the database since 2002. It now includes data on the 100 largest federal contractors, up from 50 contractors last year.

Last month, President Bush signed the fiscal 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision to establish a government database with information on the integrity and performance of federal contractors and grantees. The database will be open to contracting officials and to Congress only. It is modeled after the POGO database, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) was a key sponsor of the legislation to create a government version.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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