PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - U.S. Navy investigators say security personnel at a public shipyard in Virginia created an unauthorized police force that wasted up to $21 million on equipment, manpower and vehicles that included a high-speed boat.
The Navy on Tuesday released a 2014 report that detailed 12 years of mismanagement at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth following a request from The Associated Press. Federal News Radio first wrote about the report in August.
The shipyard is one of four public facilities that services the Navy's fleet. The mismanagement of funds began amid security concerns that grew from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Alan Baribeau, a Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman, said in an email that the Navy has taken actions to correct the inappropriate conduct and provide more oversight of shipyard security and provided the following statement:
"Since the completion of the NAVSEA IG investigation in 2014, Norfolk Naval Shipyard has taken numerous actions to correct the inappropriate conduct that was identified and to provide more oversight for the shipyard security office.
All administrative personnel actions, including Letters of Caution, oral reprimands, briefs, and retraining in areas such as time and attendance, purchase cards, procurement authorizations, and the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) process have been completed.
The Shipyard's use of the DRMO program was reviewed to evaluate controls, surveillance, procurement, training, qualifications, and excess and disposition requirements. Refresher training has been provided for all property custodians and other personnel to reinforce DRMO and minor property management regulations and guidelines. As part of the shipyard's internal monitoring program, periodic surveillance of the shipyard's interactions with DRMO will be conducted on a continuing basis. It is important to note that the dollar figure associated with the items obtained through the DRMO program represents the "as new" cost of the products. DRMO is designed to allow government agencies the ability to repurpose used items, in lieu of disposal or donation, and does not require any monetary payment to obtain items, only a proper requisition request.
All security office personnel have been disqualified from obtaining materials from DRMO. Norfolk Naval Shipyard has significantly improved communication among the Commanding Officer, Executive Director, and Security Director through a bi-weekly report and monthly face-to-face meetings. Part of this process included the validation of the security's office's staffing to ensure alignment with the functions of NAVSEA and Commander, Navy Installations Command. The security office workforce was centralized at one location with supervision and management to facilitate communications and oversight.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard developed and trained a Command Evaluation and Review Office (CERO), which won the inaugural NAVSEA Inspector General Professional Excellence Award for exemplary leadership, innovation, and professional development in 2016.
The shipyard also overhauled its Asset Management Program, which was recently recognized as the model program by NAVSEA corporation, and completed all required actions stemming from the investigation. This included conducting a full inventory of all remaining assets and reducing the assets controlled by the security office.
The Command Evaluation and Review Office will pursue any future leads regarding missing items as they come to light."
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