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Wired: DARPA Contracts Under Audit

The Pentagon’s Inspector General is reportedly auditing every DARPA research contract signed since Regina Dugan became the agency’s director two years ago. The Inspector General is also determining whether any other contracts might have been awarded as a result of conflicts of interest between agency personnel and firms that were ultimately awarded contracts. The review comes amid allegations that millions of dollars’ worth of contracts were made by DARPA with RedXDefense, an explosives detection technology firm Dugan co-founded with her father. Dugan reportedly recused herself from any decisions involving the company, yet it was ultimately awarded US$1.7 million in research contracts. The firm had been awarded US$4.25 million in contracts before she joined the agency. According to Wired, this is only an investigation into the contracting process. The US Inspector General is initiating a second inquiry into “Regina Dugan’s continued financial and familial relations with Darpa contractor RedXDefense,” according to Wired. Another probe is being launched into the relationship between Tony Tether, a former DARPA director, and Aeros. Tether is now as a member of its board of advisors. Stars and Stripes called Wired’s continuing coverage of the issue “some good watchdog journalism.” (Wired)(Stars and Stripes)

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