Defense Contractors Spent $340,000 to Honor Defense Sec. Gates

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman, presents an award to Sec. Gates

According to recent Congressional filings, Pentagon contractors, their lobbyists and lobbying groups spent more than $340,000 in 2008 on parties and other events to honor Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. Among those paying for events honoring Gates during 2008 were BAE Systems Inc., Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Science Applications International Corporation. These six companies spent $125,000 hosting events honoring Gates, and received a total of more than $91 billion in defense contracts, according to the Federal Procurement Data System. This accounts for more than a quarter of the Pentagon’s total procurement budget in 2008.

In defense of Gates, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that if a defense contractor is the lead sponsor of an event for Gates, the secretary will not sit at their table “so as to eliminate any appearance of the highest bidder gaining some sort of proximity to him.”
Thanks for Your Business: Defense Contractors Spent $340,000 on Events Honoring Gates (by Alex Knott, Congressional Quarterly)                                                                              


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