By: Ellen Mitchell for The Hill, Mar. 15, 2019
Pentagon officials did not account for and manage $2.1 billion worth of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter parts and must now rely on the aircraft’s maker, Lockheed Martin, to tell them where and when it spent the funds, according to a new watchdog report.
The scathing report from the Defense Department’s (DOD) Office of Inspector General found that Pentagon officials “failed to implement procedures, and failed to appoint and hold officials responsible, to account for and manage government property for more than 16 years.”
As a result of major oversights, “the DoD does not know the actual value of the F‑35 property and does not have an independent record to verify the contractor‑valued government property of $2.1 billion for the F‑35 Program,” the report states.
The implications are significant, the inspector general noted, since without accurate records, F‑35 program officials have no metrics to hold Lockheed accountable for how it managed 3.45 million pieces of government property.