Navy contracts probed by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) recently requested documents from U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus regarding steps taken to address alleged contracting scandals within the Navy.

“While I am pleased that (Mabus has) recognized that the Navy’s contracting practices must change, I am concerned that these (internal) reviews will not go far enough,” Issa said.

Issa cited a number of reported contracting scandals, including those with Glenn-Defense Marine Asia, Ltd., President and CEO Leonard Francis.

Francis allegedly overbilled the Navy by at least $20 million for port and provision services and used classified information from officers and enlisted personnel to gain bidding advantages. Francis then allegedly bribed Navy personnel and investigators to avoid detection.

Issa requested copies of all contracts between the Navy and GDMA and a list of “husbanding” contracts used to provide fresh food and fuel to Navy ships at port over the last five years.

Husbanding contracts have built-in flexibility that allows contractors to increase prices when necessary. GDMA allegedly exploited this flexibility and forged hundreds of invoices and documents to over-charge the Navy for fuel, food and port services.