Via IEC Journal comes word of this Government Accountability Office report written up in this Government Executive article by Elizabeth Newell on the post-employment trends of 400 top former Defense Department officials — all of whom were subject to a one-year ban on lobbying their old colleagues. Newell offers this staggering finding:
Approximately 65 percent of those former officials were employed by one of seven contractors: Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC); Northrop Grumman Corp.; Lockheed Martin Corp.; Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.; L3 Communications Holding Inc.; General Dynamics and Raytheon Co. All but one of those companies, Booz Allen Hamilton, ranked in the top 10 of Government Executive’s Top 200 Contractors list in 2007. Booz Allen Hamilton was 24th on that list.
USASpending.gov, maintained by Office of Management and Budget, ranks all of those seven contractors in their top 20 for 2007. Newell quotes Cristina Chaplain, the report’s author, as saying, “Our results indicate that defense contractors may employ a substantial number of former DOD officials on assignments related to their former DOD agencies or their direct responsibilities.”
Newell writes that the report asks the Pentagon to think about how they can address this situation:
GAO recommended that Defense consider what type of contractor disclosure and certification information on former officials was necessary to ensure compliance with post-government employment restrictions
More robust disclosure of former official’s contacts with their old colleagues on contracting actions would be a start — perhaps the information could be included in USASpending.gov.