Improper Lobbying Activities by the Department of Defense on the Proposed Procurement of the C-5B Aircraft

AFMD-82-124: Published: Sep 29, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1982.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Walter L. Anderson
(202) 275-5044
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

In response to a congressional request, GAO investigated the accuracy of allegations regarding the existence of a Department of Defense (DOD) lobbyist group in favor of the proposed procurement of the C-5B aircraft. Specifically, GAO was asked to determine whether these activities violated statutory prohibitions of lobbying with appropriated funds.

GAO found that an extensive and cooperative effort was made by officials of the Air Force, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Lockheed Corporation, and other Defense contractors to influence certain Congressmen's votes on the proposed procurement. This effort was initiated and directed by Defense officials, and they spent appropriated funds and government resources to sustain their activities. Actions taken by Air Force and OSD officials to influence the Congressmen through the use of contractors were improper and violated the federal appropriations restrictions which prohibit the use of appropriations for publicity and propaganda purposes designed to influence legislation pending before Congress. Further, DOD may have exceeded the limitation on the funds it can spend on legislative liaison activities contained in the Defense Appropriation Act of 1982. Since the governing statute contains fine and imprisonment provisions, GAO referred the matter of possible violation to the Attorney General.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Matter: Congress should enact in permanent legislation a set of guidelines on appropriate actions by agencies, Federal employees, and contractors when carrying out legitimate communication with Congress regarding agency policies, programs, activities, and procurements. Such guidance should specifically preclude cooperative efforts, as exhibited in this case, among Government officials and Federal fund recipients, such as contractors and grantees, for the purpose of influencing members of Congress on legislation being considered by that body. Permanent legislation should lead to agency heads establishing appropriate implementing rules and regulations.

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Matter: Congress should consider amending the legislative liaison appropriation refunds that Defense and the service departments may spend on these activities. The law should specifically state which costs are subject to this restriction.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should establish proper accounting and internal controls to prevent violations of the Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 665) from recurring.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should conduct an administrative investigation after the end of the fiscal year to determine if a violation of the Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 665) has occurred in the expenditures related to legislative liaison activities and take action as required by the statute if the appropriation restriction has been exceeded.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct all Defense negotiators to seek contract amendments or provisions which will specifically exclude all lobbying costs in all current as well as future contracts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should take all necessary steps to preclude the charging of any lobbying cost by Lockheed Corporation, the Boeing Company, and their subcontractors, or other firms, to any existing Federal contract. The Defense Contract Audit Agency and Defense plant representatives should be directed to disallow such costs in their audits of overhead accounts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not intend to act.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should review any existing guidance relating to actions and behavior of Defense officials when communicating with members of Congress on legislation, procurement proposals, and budget initiatives and revise such guidance in an effort to preclude future incidents such as described in this report.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 26, 2016

Sep 23, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Aug 30, 2016

Aug 11, 2016

Jul 22, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 6, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here