Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Revolving Door - DCMA Commander Goes to KBR, Inc.

KBR, Inc. announced late last month the appointment of Lieutenant General Wendy Masiello, USAF (Ret) as a member of its Board of Directors, effective August 18th. That's about a month and a half after she retired as head of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) where she was responsible for the oversight of KBR's Government contracts. Ms. Massiello will serve on the Audit and the Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility  Committees of the Board. As a Board Member, she will earn at least $200,000 per year in cash and stock.

We wish it were not so. It looks really bad. According to the Commission on Wartime Contracting, KBR (and its subsidiary Halliburton) was paid at least $36.3 billion  over an eight year period. The Commission documented kickbacks from subcontractors, mechanics who worked as little as 43 minutes per month on average but received full pay, its inability to account for $100 million in Government-furnished property, hiring private security guards and passing the costs on to taxpayers, human trafficking, and $300 million in pay for unnecessary personnel. And this doesn't include the results of many DCAA audits and the findings that DCMA was responsible for resolving.

DCMA prides itself as being the independent eyes and ears for the Department of Defense. It seems like Ms. Masiello had eyes and ears all right, eyes and ears for her post retirement employment opportunities. Does DCMA really have an independent voice that provides timely and relevant oversight analyses to DoD like its mission statement reads? Is it possible that the "independence" might have been compromised to secure post-retirement employment?

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