Former Deepwater engineer's allegations untrue, Lockheed says

False Claims Act lawsuit claims have been investigated before

Lockheed Martin Corp. said yesterday it will “vigorously defend” itself against a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee.

Michael DeKort, a former Lockheed engineer, filed a lawsuit under the False Claims Act last week against the prime contractors of the Coast Guard’s $24 billion Deepwater acquisition program.  See earlier story.

DeKort filed the complaint against Integrated Coast Guard Systems — a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp. — that alleged a series of deficiencies by the contractors has led to major safety, security and national security problems with the acquisition program, according to a copy of the 60-page complaint distributed on the Web on June 1.

In response to the lawsuit, Lockheed spokesman Kenneth Ross said the company generally doesn’t comment on litigation, but was making an exception in this case.

“We note that [DeKort’s] allegations reflect on [the company’s] performance of its subcontract for the 123-foot patrol boats. The allegations appear to be the same that he raised within Lockheed Martin,” Ross said. “At that time, the allegations were repeatedly investigated by the corporation, including an investigation by the vice president of ethics and business conduct. In each case, the allegations were found to be without merit.”

Northrop Grumman declined earlier to comment. “It is our policy not to comment on matters of litigation,” said Margaret Mitchell-Jones, a spokeswoman for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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