Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis first bought by way of ABC Information, criticizes the Pentagon for what he referred to as “over the top” and “obscene” reimbursement to the country’s biggest protection contractors.
Concerned about Bernie Sanders?
Upload Bernie Sanders as an pastime to stick up to the moment on the newest Bernie Sanders information, video, and research from ABC Information.
Within the letter, Sanders argues the Pentagon must “essentially reform its procurement and industry operations to crack down at the fashionable waste and abuse of personal protection contractors.”
The senator identified that the CEOs of most sensible protection corporations like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon had been paid over $20 million in overall reimbursement, together with inventory choices. But, he says, 90 p.c of the ones corporations’ income comes from the government within the type of protection contracts.
“I feel the American folks wish to know why a protection contractor pays its CEO over $20 million, whilst your wage is capped at $205,700 and different contributors of the army are paid a long way much less,” Sanders wrote to Mattis. “What sort of message does it ship when a protection contractor is paid 100 occasions greater than the Secretary of Protection?”
“I will let you know that one in every of Secretary Mattis’ most sensible 3 priorities is reforming the way in which we do industry. That is why, on Feb. 1, we started reorganizing the previous workplace of acquisition, generation, and logistics. The reorganization is the most important of the dep. for the reason that 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act. This reorganization implements past due Congressionally-mandated reforms and important enhancements to raised beef up the products and services. Additionally, as USD(A&S) Ellen Lord testified to the SASC, Dec. 7, ‘Secretary Mattis has positioned precedence on enforcing those provisions along different Division-wide reforms and practices required to give a boost to the lethality and readiness of our army’,” Commander Patrick Evans, a Division of Protection spokesperson informed ABC Information.
Lockheed Martin Corp declined to remark and Raytheon Corporate didn’t reply to request for remark from ABC Information.
There has lengthy been a restrict on what the government can give a contribution to a person’s wage.
Previous to 2012, executive compensation limits capped how a lot the federal government may pay an organization’s 5 most sensible executives.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 expanded the “govt reimbursement cap” to all staff, no longer simply the highest executives. This intended that probably the most the federal government may compensate a person used to be $487,000, and any wage that specific gained above that quantity would come from the corporate.
An exception might be made if the person had extremely specialised technical skill, for instance in cybersecurity, deemed important for the contract.
Sanders requested Mattis if the regulation referring to govt reimbursement caps on protection contractors like Lockheed Martin must be amended additional.
“The ones company pursuits must by no means take priority over the pursuits of taxpayers or our national security,” Sanders wrote. “However paying exorbitant salaries to protection contractor CEOs makes that consequence much more likely, and that’s merely unacceptable.”
Sanders additionally requested Mattis to appear into protection contractor fraud, in addition to tactics to carry protection corporations responsible when contracts cross over the unique value estimates.
“When an organization like Lockheed Martin receives over 90 p.c of its income from protection spending, has paid loads of hundreds of thousands in fines for fraud, and is chargeable for one of the worst value overruns in historical past, it must no longer be allowed to pay its CEO 100 occasions greater than the Secretary of Protection,” Sanders informed ABC Information. “The Protection Division has a accountability to crack down at the fashionable waste, fraud, and mismanagement on the Pentagon.”
The Division of Protection is recently present process its first-ever audit, slated to be finished in September, that can have a look at the Pentagon’s monetary statements for 2017.