Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, is asking congressional investigators to look into whether the Navy is pulling shenanigans by not renewing its contract with Hill Air Force Base for the inspection and repair of F/A-18 fighter jets.
The Navy said it did so this week because of delays and cost overruns at Hill, but Hansen has said he suspects the Navy is simply trying to provide more work for its own depot at North Island, Calif., to help save it in upcoming base-closure fights.Of course, loss of the program that employs 150 people at Hill could lead to layoffs there. And the lower workload and complaints may put Hill in tougher position to battle for its own survival among base closings.
So Hansen on Thursday asked the U.S. General Accounting Office, a research arm of Congress, to review the decision "to ensure that it was based on the most accurate and verifiable data available."
Hansen - a senior member of the House National Security Committee - added, "I am concerned that the Navy decision may be based on inaccurate cost data adjustments to (Hill's) bid."
Hansen said he wants to know if the adjustments made by the Navy were justified by Defense Department policy. And he also wants a review of North Island Aviation Depot's cost data to verify whether the Navy's decision was proper.
Hill has said that it absorbed extra costs of the program.