Sunday, December 4, 2016

Great Excerpt from "Skunk Works" on Defense Contracting

From Phil Greenspun's review of Skunk Works:

Government auditors discovered some classified documents missing. The documents in question had been properly shredded, but our logging was antiquated and no one recorded the date of the document destruction. It was a bureaucratic foul-up rather than any serious security breach, but tell that to Congress. The government cut my progress payments on the stealth fighter project by 30 percent until I could prove to their satisfaction that I had taken specific steps to eliminate security logging laxness and lost documents. From then on, we were monitored unceasingly. Toward the end of the stealth project I had nearly forty auditors living with me inside our plant, watching every move we made on all security and contract matters. The chief auditor came to me during a plant visit and said, “Mr. Rich, let’s get something straight: I don’t give a damn if you turn out scrap. It’s far more important that you turn out the forms we require.”
Cutting the "defense" budget would be the easiest way to reduce the massive deficit, not that it will be easy politically.

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