DOD IG Gives Mea Culpa

DOD IG Gives Mea Culpa: The Pentagon’s inspector general office has rescinded a March report citing possible compromise of classified information on the F-35 stealth fighter at BAE Systems facilities or through the company’s computer systems. “After report issuance, we determined that we did not have sufficient appropriate evidence to support the report conclusion,” wrote Paul Granetto, principal assistant inspector general for auditing, in an Oct. 23 memo distributed to senior Department of Defense offices and Congressional committees with oversight for national security matters. BAE, along with Northrop Grumman, is a principal industry partner to lead contractor Lockheed Martin on the $300 billion, multinational F-35 program. As a result of the rescission, the IG has removed the original report from its Web site. And, since the Defense Security Service, which was criticized back in March for “incomplete” oversight, has agreed “to take appropriate corrective actions to better monitor defense contractors,” the IG will not conduct additional audit work and reissue the March report with revised findings, Granetto said. BAE came out strongly against the original report’s findings. Commenting yesterday on the IG’s action, BAE spokesman Greg Caires told the Daily Report that, “We appreciate the DOD IG’s thoroughness and willingness to re-examine this issue.” (For more, read the Washington Post’s report from Oct. 25 (requires free registration).)