Deepwater lawsuit marks another twist in a troubled story
The False Claims Act lawsuit filed last week against a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Northrop Grumman Corp. joint venture is just the latest chapter in the troubled story of the Coast Guard’s Deepwater project.
A review of the headlines since the contract was awarded in 2002 to the Integrated Coast Guard Systems reads like a how-not-to of government contracting:
Coast Guard wants its money back
Kerry bill would torpedo Deepwater program
Deepwater in trouble, watchdog says
Senate moves to step up Deepwater oversight
Systems integrators fall from grace, but many doubt that government can run without them
All of these are from the last two and a half years, and I'm not including the two from this week: False Claims Act lawsuit filed against Deepwater contractors and Lockheed promises fight over Deepwater suit.
The headlines from the early days of the program, which was awarded in 2002, have a much different tone.
Deepwater moves full speed ahead
That one discusses how the Coast Guard, with the support of Congress, was trying to speed up the implementation of Deepwater in order to reduce its costs.
I’m sure there are more than a few lessons in that policy decision.
Among its many issues, the Deepwater program has been credited with spelling the end of the government’s reliance on lead systems integrators. I'm not so sure. It is too early to say whether that shift will result in better projects, or even if it is realistic.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the troubles with Deepwater.
For me the obvious lesson is trying to go too far, too fast and doing too much.
Unfortunately, it is a lesson we seem to have to learn over and over.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 04, 2009 at 9:53 AM