January 31, 2013
Pentagon IG Finds DARPA Ethics Program Above Board
In a report released Thursday, Jacqueline L. Wicecarver, the Pentagon's assistant inspector general, concluded that Darpa’s ethics training “appropriately mitigated the potential for conflicts-of-interest." Its ethics policies are consistent with federal standards, and its employees tend to follow them.
In the major test case for conflicts of interest that the inspector general studied, Darpa came out with a clean bill of good-government health.
The case began with a request from a different watchdog, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). As Danger Room first reported in August 2011, the group prevailed on the Pentagon inspector to take a broad, wide-ranging look at Darpa’s contracting process. The initial reason: the discovery that then-Director Regina Dugan owed her family firm, a Darpa contractor, tens of thousands of dollars. (Dugan’s spokesman said she recused herself from any dealing with the firm, RedXDefense. Dugan left Darpa last year to take a job with Google.)