Coast Guard “never requested” Deepwater SF-LLLs


The Coast Guard responded to one of the first Freedom of Information Act requests I made (described here) for an SF-LLL–the disclosures that contractors have to file when they lobby the government in connection with a contract. I asked for any SF-LLLs filed in connection with Deepwater, the multi-year contract to design a new generation of ships and systems for the Coast Guard. Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northop Grumman, won the contract. Both companies lobbied Congress and the Coast Guard over the program (see page 19 of this form or page 7 of this form), specifying Deepwater as a subject of interest.

Here’s part of the Coast Guard’s reply:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information (FOIA) request dated February 2, 2007, for documents filed by or behalf of Northrop Grumman Corp. or Lockheed Martin Corp. in connection with the contract award number HSCG23-02-C-2DW001 made to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, Duns number 0364758330000.

The requested is not available because this information was never requested from either company; therefore, neither Northrop Grumman Corp. or Lockheed Martin Corp, was required to submit the requested form.

Curiouser and curiouser. Here is part of the instructions for filing an SF-LL:

This disclosure form shall be completed by the reporting entity, whether subawardee or prime Federal recipient, at the initiation or receipt of a covered Federal action, or a material change to a previous filing, pursuant to title 31 U.S.C. section 1352. The filing of a form is required for each payment or agreement to make payment to any lobbying entity for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with a covered Federal action.

I’m not sure why an agency would have to “request” a form SF-LLL before a company that’s lobbying would be obligated under the law to file one. But it would be interesting to find out.

One other wrinkle: Under 31 U.S.C. section 1352, contractors also have to attest that they have not used any federal funds to lobby in connection with the contract award. So in addition to trying to nail down why the Coast Guard did not ask for SF-LLLs, I’m going to file another FOIA asking for any such attestations as required by the Byrd Amendment filed in connection with the contract.