Senator John Kerry is calling on the Coast Guard to drop the current Deepwater contract held by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman and hold an open and competitive bidding process for the remaining aspects of the program.
Senator Kerry made the following statement to a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Coast Guard contract:
"The Coast Guard's Deepwater Program has been plagued by poor engineering, lax oversight, and cost overruns that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. The flawed management structure of the program allowed the private contractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, to make management decisions that increased their bottom lines at the expense of taxpayers and national security.
"Whether it's buying seaport radiation monitors that can't tell the difference between a bomb and a banana, or issuing inflated no-bid Katrina clean-up contracts, the Department of Homeland Security has failed Americans. Private contractors should not be allowed to feed at the taxpayer trough while the Department of Homeland Security fails to adequately defend our country.
"When the current Deepwater contract expires in June, the Coast Guard should drop Lockheed and Northrop and hold an open and competitive bidding process for the remaining aspects of the program and ensure that management decisions are made by solely by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard should also explore every legal option to re-coup funding from Lockheed/Northrop that it spent on poorly designed ships.
"We must put an end to lax oversight and the business as usual approach of this Administration and make the common sense choices that will protect hardworking Americans."