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New watchdog report decries ‘revolving door’ between the Pentagon and defense contractors

A new report from the Project on Government Oversight found that there were “645 instances of the top 20 defense contractors in fiscal year 2016 hiring former senior government officials, military officers, members of Congress, and senior legislative staff as lobbyists, board members, or senior executives.” The top six defense contractors (Lockheed, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop, Boeing, and General Dynamics) have 338 instances of senior government officials hired on as executives, directors, or lobbyists. The concern with this correlation is that these officials will use the influence attached to their former position to win contracts, creating a “revolving door” between the Pentagon and defense industry that “is corrosive and breeds cynicism around the decision made at the Pentagon,” according to the report’s author. “Over our history we’ve repeatedly heard from whistleblowers and members of the military who complain this breeds a culture where government officials are subservient to contractors and people who question costs or performance are told to stop rocking the boat lest they be retaliated against professionally,” When asked how to improve the situation, the report’s author suggested starting “with a blanket two-year cooling off period, and sampling the laws to really reflect how to best protect the public interest.”

Source: New watchdog report decries ‘revolving door’ between the Pentagon and defense contractors

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