Fraud at Shipyard?

Tim Colton’s Maritime Memos is reporting additional cases of alledged fraud at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard.

We reported last month that some folks at Ingalls Shipbuilding had been caught fudging the numbers.  Still no press coverage or announcements from the company, but the latest word is that over 100 supervisors and managers are gone, some let go but others arrested and indicted for embezzlement, based on getting a bonus calculated from fraudulent performance figures.  This is clearly not a small-scale, isolated, incident.  Isn’t it time for a statement from the company, however legalistically worded?  And what’s the Navy’s position?  Does this not raise questions about the costs billed and/or the percentage progress claimed? Has the Navy stopped making payments?  If not, why not?

Does this effect the National Security Cutter program? We might also ask, what is the Coast Guard’s position?

26 thoughts on “Fraud at Shipyard?

  1. Your readers should note, please, that I am not accusing anyone of anything, only reporting some of the rumors that are circulating in Pascagoula. Let’s hope it’s all a storm in a teacup.

  2. While Mr. Colton does a very good job about alerting us to issues at many shipyards he has a soft spot for some and pulls his punches – or worse. An example being Bollinger shipyards – for whom he has been employed. He has an issue with employee mischarging (as he should) but thinks Bollinger did no harm relative to the 123s. I am concerned that his ethics follow too closely to his paychecks.

    Maybe Mr. Colton would like to address this?

      • Because I say it or because you thick it is incorrect?

        Not sure if you knew this but in his post on DoJ V Bollinger he said “Finally!” at the end of it for a while before editing it out. He has publicly posted support for Bollinger in that case and said he worked for them.

        These are important issues. Those with flawed or situational ethics need to be called out.

      • @CG-092 Counterblogger, “Then why do you choose to be “Facebook buddies” with the guy then Chuck?”

        Same reason I didn’t block your post, I like to know what people think, even if I disagree with them.

      • @Chuck, you can read what he writes without allowing him access to your PII. Be wary, others in the Coast Guard who have allowed him access to their personal information regretted it later when Mr. Dekort turned on them or otherwise turned into a harassing pest.

    • Why is now the right time to let it go? Because it’s been ten years? So there is a statute of limitations on doing the right thing and a free pass for doing the wrong thing if you make it to a magical date? Because I lost my appeal? Because someone has been held accountable? Because it doesn’t matter any more to the men or women of the CG or taxpayer? Because the fleet is in better shape and getting better because of the contractors?

      I agree it has been too damn long. I agree I am a broken record. But what I am not going to do is rollover as you and many do and suggest. It is for that reason the bad guys do bad things and think they can get away with it. Because you prove that if they delay long enough they can. The odds are in their favor and grow so over time if they delay and wait you out.

      Every service member, past or present , who doesn’t PERPETUALLY try to do the right thing and shine a light on those doing wrong is not meeting their commitment to the country and the men and women who serve short.

      Duty and honor do not have a shelf life.

      Or do they?

      • @imispgh, The point is that the time in which something could be done about this has past.

        We cannot exclude Bollinger from future contracts because you, the Coast Guard, and the DOJ were unable to get a judgement or conviction against them.

        Mistakes were made primarily in terms of putting the foxes in charge of the hen house, but when you do that, you cannot complain that the fox was a fox. Out sourcing was stupid, but the stupid was not limited to the Coast Guard it started at the presidential level where the idea that we could out source our decision making was pushed.

        Unfortunately the CG is having to live with the bad decisions of the past. The 123s are the poster children for the errors that were made, but in fact they were only a small fraction of the screw-up, and it happened largely because the Coast Guard was already in a bad position. The 110 replacements should have been selected earlier. Instead we rushed through the modification of eight boats instead of completing one prototype and evaluating before proceeding. Lots of blame to go around, beside the CG and the contractors, to include the department, the Congress, and the Executive.

        I would suggest you might redirect your energy to writing a book to document what happened. Right now you are just spinning your wheels and changing nothing.

      • @Chuck, Mr. Dekort has bragged on other blogs about pursuing a book and movie deals in the past. We here at Buzzards Point were so dissapointed that they did not pan out for him financially the way he had hoped. LOL!

  3. Is this a gulf-coast issue only? Were there these kinds of problems with Marianette and the WLMs/WLBs they built?

    Is the problem that the lowest bidder automatically wins, which results in Bollinger & Ingalls getting contracts they know they can’t turn a profit on without cheating??

    Should CG be watching over their shoulder every step of the building process of every vessel with knowledgeable marine engineers to make sure they are meeting contractual requirements?

    Should CG lawyers be writing better contracts with a built-in reward/punishment system, which the Commandant is willing to follow thruough on, even at the political cost of ticking off some politicians from the Gulf Coast area?

      • There is no statement from Kevin here. If he wants to make a statement on your behalf, he can. However, given how you were found by two different courts to have been than honest, it is doubtful anyone here will accept your heresay.

      • I did not post anything from Kevin. I said I confirmed what I posted with him. Believe what you will. Kevin is enjoying a quiet retirement he more than deserves.

        Then I posted a link showing where ELC is now. My point was accurate. That engineering group should be doing the work not some outside firm. Maybe this is the USCG once again avoiding them to their peril? The old ELC under Captain Jarvis (The Capt Paul Roden) nailed the NSC hull longevity, FRC composite hull and 123 extension issues. Had they and I been listened to there would have been no issues, no press, no hearings, ICGS would still be prime and the fleet and its mission performance would be much better off..

  4. Latest update from Tim Colton’s Maritime Memos:

    Here is an extract: “(3) The problem is apparently not so much one of fixing the numbers to inflate bonuses, as first reported, but of fixing the numbers to meet budgets, a requirement forced on production supervision by the fact that they have five active programs (LHD, LPD, DDG 51, DDG 1000, NSC) going on in parallel, with manpower assignments set in concrete and budgets reduced from ship to ship to meet some hypothetical learning curve, all further complicated by the Navy’s EVMS requirements.”

  5. Shame Mr. Colton doesn’t apply this much effort and due diligence when Bollinger is involved. He actively pursues Lockheed and Ingalls but not Bollinger. Shame he can’t separate his ethics from who has helped him pay his bills.

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