With all of the information being posted which shows runaway contractors, fraud and corruption in contracts and in contract oversight and management, particularly in the area of defense contracts, it is interesting to note that currently, the Oversight of such contracts is under the purvey of The Defense Security Service (formerly Defense Investigative Service) who’s employees have the charge of fulfilling their agencies assigned mission to “protect classified information and technology in the hands of industry.”  It would appear that DSS is broken and that this critical mission is no longer being accomplished.  (Someone recently contacted me and told me that the new DSS Director bluntly pretty much stated this when she was a guest speaker at a conference recently, although her statement was not included in the audio record of the conference.)  I checked with someone who had access to the laws and policies and found out the following:

 

 

 

The National Industrial Security Program (NISP)

 

“DoD 5220.22-M, Chapter 1, Para. 1-101- Authority

 

The NISP was established by Executive Order 12829.  The Secretary of Defense (SecDef) has been designated Executive Agent for the NISP by the President.

 

While the SecDef serves as the Executive Agent for inspecting and monitoring contractors, practical day-to-day administration of the program has been, and continues to be, the purvey of the Defense Security Service (DSS).

 

One of the responsibilities of the DSS is the administration of the Facility Clearance (FCL) program of defense contractors.  DoD 5220.22-M, Chapter 2, Para. 2-102- Eligibility Requirements, Sub Para. c. stipulates “The company must have a reputation for integrity and lawful conduct in its business dealings.”

 

So why isn’t the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Security Service enforcing this requirement?  They have the authority to revoke a defense contractor’s facility clearance and participation in the NISP until that contractor comes into compliance.  It appears to be used very selectively on small defense contractors, but never as a compliance tool in large defense contractor transgressions.”

 

 

 

 

So, current law does provide legal means to enforce expectations, policies, and laws regarding the actions of defense contractors, but the expectations, policies, and laws are not being enforced.  In fact, over less than a decade, it has become decidedly out of control.  It appears that Congress is going to have to stand up and take this to the mat, or it will never be wrestled back into control.  It would appear the following must be done:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Corruption within and connected to the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches must be confronted and routed.

 

2.  Government Agencies must also be audited, removing first appointed managers who are either not doing the job required, or who are actively thwarting the employee’s   efforts to do the oversight work ethically.   This will include on an agency-by-agency basis, determining which employees are a part of the problem and those who may be paralyzed victims of the corruption and the corrupted managers and/or coworkers.

 

3.  Congressional intervention into defense contractor influence pedaling and lobbying wrongdoing must be accomplished and violations of current laws stopped.

 

4.  The Government needs to step up to its role as the governing authority.  Far too often contractors, defense contractors in particular have much too much influence into decisions that should be inherently governmental decisions.  This is not to say that defense contractors should not have input into the process.  However the final determination of policy needs to squarely rest on the shoulders of government. 

 

5.  Government employees who have oversight responsibilities must be uncompromised and independent of pressures either directly or indirectly applied from defense contractors or corrupted employees or managers within the government who are “owned” by those contractors.

 

6.  The defense contracting community is its own best advocate.  It does not need government workers or agencies advocating on its behalf.  The government should not be trying to be the “friend” of industry.  In business dealings, the government and industry, must maintain appropriate separation because of the legal oversight responsibility government has.  There are currently laws and policies, which have been in place a long time to assure that the lines between contractor and oversight authority are clear and clean.  However, those policies have in some cases been corrupted, and in others ignored, and in all cases where problems are evident have not been enforced.

 

 

 

Will all of this be easy?  No, although the path that must be taken is clear.  The heaviest weight in responsibility at this time, due to the apparent level of corruption and dysfunction in the Executive and Judicial branches, falls squarely on the shoulders of the Legislative Branch.  The Senate and House of Representatives must stand up and do the right thing for our country. 

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