Sandia Corporation to pay $4.7M to resolve lobbying allegations

Sandia Corporation, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, agreed to pay $4,790,042 to resolve lobbying allegations.

In an Aug. 21 press release, the Department of Justice alleged Sandia used federal funds to lobby Congress for non-competitive extensions to its Management and Operating contract won in 1993.

The contract was originally set to expire on Sept. 30, 2012, but received an 18-month extension into March 2014.

The contract was renewed a second time for a non-competitive two-year extension set to end in March 2016, which prompted the inspection report from the Department of Energy’s inspector general.

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After the IG report was released, DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which houses Sandia National Laboratories, conducted their own a preliminary review of SNL.

Findings in documents from 2009 through 2011 corroborated the IG’s allegations.

NNSA’s special inquiry stated Sandia developed and executed a plan that asked federal and congressional officials for help obtaining the non-competitive extensions with DOE.

According to the DOJ, the type of lobbying Sandia is accused of engaging in is prohibited by laws and regulations, specifically the Byrd Amendment.

“The money allocated by Congress for the Sandia National Laboratories is designed to fund the important mission carried out by our national laboratories, not to lobby congress for more funding,” said Benjamin Mizer, DOJ principal deputy assistant attorney general and head of the department’s Civil Division. “This resolution demonstrates that the Justice Department will work to ensure that public funds are used for the important purposes for which they are intended.”

According to the IG report, NNSA plans on opening the 2017 contract up for competition.

“Using public funds to lobby for a non-competitive extension of a contract is simply unacceptable,” said DOE IG Gregory H. Friedman.  “I salute the work of the Department of Justice in pursuing this matter and the work of the Office of Inspector General professionals who were responsible for gathering the facts that served as the basis for the settlement.”

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