A Congressional investigation into one of the biggest bribery scandals to hit the Navy’s senior command structure is about to be launched, spearheaded by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House committee, delivered the news to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in a letter on Thursday.
Issa is concerned the Navy’s own investigations “will not go far enough.” In the letter, he said the Navy needs to revamp its oversight policies to better prevent “the waste, fraud and mismanagement of any more taxpayer dollars.”
The Navy scandal involves a Singapore-based shipping servicer and its CEO, a senior agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), plus two Naval commanders.
The CEO is Leonard Glenn Francis (known as “Fat Leonard”) of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. He was charged with making bribes of prostitutes, luxury travel and cash to Naval officers in return for sensitive law-enforcement information to gain bidding advances. He was arrested in a federal sting operation in September.
The senior agent with NCIS has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and the two Navy commanders are awaiting trial. The Navy is also investigating two admirals and a captain for their connection to this case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in Naval contracting dollars.
The Navy is conducting an internal probe into its officers and contracting procedures, and the Department of Justice is handling the criminal investigation into the Navy officers and Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
The letter from Issa did not explain how extensive the congressional review of the Navy scandal would be.
Issa did point out, however, that the Navy dealt with another contracting scandal in 2011, and that a special review panel appointed by Mabus following it did not prevent problems from occurring again.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.