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DOJ OIG Releases Report on DEA Contract with L3 Vertex Aerospace

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a report examining a $176.6 million Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) contract with L3 Vertex Aerospace (L3) for aviation support. This includes aircraft and avionics maintenance, flight training, and material support to sustain the DEA’s aircraft fleet in a safe, reliable, and fully mission-capable condition worldwide.

Photo of planes

The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the DEA’s processes for awarding and administering the contract generally complied with applicable federal regulations. However, we identified potential areas of improvement related to the DEA’s contract oversight and other procedures. For example, we recommended that the DEA improve its oversight and verification of L3’s monthly reports on aircraft readiness rates, a key indicator of L3’s contract performance. Additionally, our survey of 112 DEA pilots identified opportunities to improve communication about maintenance scheduling and aircraft status among DEA pilots, contract oversight employees, and L3 fleet management planners. 

Today’s report makes 7 recommendations to the DEA to improve oversight of the aviation support operations contract. The DEA agreed with all the recommendations. L3 elected not to provide a written response to include in the final audit report.

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