Pentagon paid contractor $1 million to ship two 19-cent washers

Story here. You can’t make this shit up.

Who’s in charge of cost control for the DoD, anyway?!

So how do I get in on that action?

OK, I’ve heard of “they get you on the shipping and handling” but holy fucking shit!

It looks apparent that you could just send a dummy invoice to the right govt. address and you’d get paid- obviously its no ones job to review for accuracy. Someone should try that instead of the scam they pull with offices and office supplies they never ordered or received.

See, they were stimulating the economy! This is trickle down economics, not a crime!

We occasionally get government contracts and our invoices are checked with a fine tooth comb - and we have no history of ever pulling something like this!
I guess we really need to get these people here at my company in charge of billing, huh? Well, except for that whole “charges that have been brought” unpleasantness.

I’ll bet it started out as a clerical error on C&D’s part. They accidently added a zero or something and the government paid them anyway. Then curiousity got the better of them and they tried again. It worked. They upped it. It worked again. Then they figured “why not go balls out? Let’s add a few zeros to this number and see what happens?”

At what point would anyone have ever noticed? In theory, how high could they have gone in S&H fees before someone was absolutely forced to look at the system? Millions? Billions?

And you know this isn’t an isolated case. There are dozens of other contractors out there quaking in their boots and sending money to the Caymans as we speak.

This was all explained in “Independence Day”. The POTUS (played nicely by Bill Pullman) asked how in the heck they paid for the massive, high-tech underground research facility with all the technicians and scientists, where they housed the crashed UFO and the extraterrestrials recovered in the Roswell UFO crash, and Julius Levinson explains it well:

President Thomas Whitmore: "I don’t understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this? "

Julius Levinson: “You don’t actually think they spend $20,000.00 on a hammer, $30,000.00 on a toilet seat do you?”

Case closed.

:smiley:

Dummy invoice for goods not received? I could never do that, that would be stealing. But on the other hand if I could buy a couple of washers at the neighborhood Hope Despot and FedEx those bad boys over to Iraq and then invoice the government for a million large, that’s being a shrewd businessman. :cool:

That’s STILL stealing :dubious: .

Cost control for the DoD is handled by either DCAS® or the DLA. If the invoices are trusted and the contractor has had bills for items that termed that highly previously, the odds are that they just got approved (because it was still within the budget for that particular line item) then the audits caught it, and the scoundrels were themselves caught. They should really send them to a military prison for that kinda thing.

Six machine screws for $59.94? What were they, twelve feet long stainless steel hand-milled?

That, and left hand thread.

Can’t do that to civilians. (Or were you referring to the DoD bureaucrats who approved the invoices? They’re probably civilians too.)

Quoth the lawyer (emphasis added):

Unfortunately? Hahahah!!!11!!! Who would you have to blame if she hadn’t offed herself?

“Honestly, Judge, my client is only slightly guilty. It’s the dead one that can’t defend herself who did ALMOST ALL the bad stuff. Really. I swear.”

For no particular reason, this story reminds me of a cartoon I once, long ago, saw printed on a plate in a cheesy gift shop in Tarpon Springs. A bolt, with vaguely male features, is chasing a nut, with female features. The nut says, “Not without a washer, you don’t!”

That works even better with twins.

“We have video of you signing a bogus invoice.”

“No! That was my dead twin sister!”

I once worked as a QC inspector in a defense plant. I actually physically checked two stainless steel screws that had been hand made by one machinist. They were about two inches long, the portion of the shaft just below the head was smaller in diameter than the threaded area, the threads were left-handed, and the portion of the shaft below the thread tapered to a point. I was told they were worth $800.00 each and this was in 1969.

Depending on whether they were custom threaded, exotic material, or specially finished, that could be a bargain price. Or overkill. The issue however is the shipping cost. Titanium alloy screws can be outrageously expensive in some sizes, as in, $50 per. Hell, I bought 4 stainless 1/2-inch eye-bolts a few weeks ago at $8 per.

Indeed.
For instance, there are some rather interesting bolts that hold reactor vessel lids down tight… The examples I have in mind come from a reactor I used to operate. OK, so they’re 16 inches long, you’d still not expect them to cost too much, eh?

Nope - those size-large bolts are designed to be torqued to 1.6 million foot-pounds force. Sure, they look like normal (large) bolts, but they’re something else entirely. Their stock number & description doesn’t give the game away, either - not until you look at the specs specified in the fine print. Yeah, they cost a bloody fortune.

Don’t forget all the attendant paperwork that goes along with government jobs. They could, quite literally, have to have paperwork on the material going all the way back to when the original ore was extracted from the ground. It might also require having an approved inspector on-site to monitor the process of the screws being made to verify that correct proceedures and materials were used.