Northrop Grumman has agreed to pay $25.8 million to settle claims it overstated the number of hours its employees worked on two battlefield communications contracts with the Air Force, the Justice Department said late last week.
The company has already made earlier repayments that bring the total recovery amount to about $27.5 million, the department added.
“The Air Force entered into two contracts with [Northrop Grumman] for battlefield communications services: the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node contract and the Dynamic Re-tasking Capability contract,” DOJ said. “Today’s settlement resolves allegations that NGSC billed the Air Force for labor hours purportedly incurred between July 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, by individuals stationed in the Middle East who had not actually worked the hours claimed.”
Northrop “also entered into a separate agreement with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California related to these contracts under which it has agreed to forfeit an additional $4.2 million,” the Justice Department added.
Except for the behavior admitted in connection with the criminal agreement, the resolved claims remain allegations and there is no determination of civil liability under the settlement, according to DOJ.
In a statement, Northrop said it identified the time charging issues, investigated them and reported them to the government in 2013.
“The improper charging was in direct violation of company policies, procedures and training,” the contractor said. “The company offered to refund improper charges in 2013, took disciplinary action including termination of employees, and implemented corrective actions. The company has cooperated with the government investigation.”