The Pentagon’s Big Contractors Lobby Big and Get in Big Trouble


Recently, the Pentagon released the list of its top 10 contractors for 2010, all which spent significant amounts of money lobbying Congress and contributing large sums to federal campaigns last year and in 2009.

Boeing—while only the second biggest contractor in terms of money received—spent the most money lobbying Congress between 2009 and 2010 at almost $35 million, according to the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer.

Northrop Grumman was second, spending $30 million.

The biggest contractor, Lockheed Martin, came in third for those same years spending $26 million lobbying.

Corporation 2009-2010 Contributions 2009-2010 Lobbying money Total contractor misconduct cases Number of contractor misconduct cases that were defense contracts
LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION $2,674,654 $25,950,000 67 25
THE BOEING COMPANY $3,082,455 $34,746,000 47 20
NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION $1,836,746 $30,920,000 33 17
GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION $1,457,799 $21,003,664 15 4
RAYTHEON COMPANY $2,196,725 $14,100,000 22 13
OSHKOSH CORPORATION $283,855 $2,140,000 0 0
L-3 COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS INC. $557,282 $9,900,000 11 7
UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION $1,261,335 $22,630,000 16 6
BAE SYSTEMS PLC $922,785 $9,377,000 8 1
SAIC INC. $943,550 $6,390,000 11 5
TOTAL $15,217,186 $177,156,664


Also noteworthy is the number of misconduct cases filed against each contractor, which usually results in fines to be paid by the contractor. All of the top ten names listed except OshKosh, as reported by the Project on Government Oversight, have had multiple cases filed against them with at least some violations incurred while working as contractors for the Department of Defense.

For instance, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has five cases of misconduct as a Defense contractor, but has 11 cases total on record dating back to 1995, also according to data made available by Influence Explorer. For the five cases where SAIC was a Defense contractor, the company paid out $6.6 million.