The $265 Million Misunderstanding


DT friend Bob Cox of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's new Sky Talk blog sent this little item in to us today.

All we can say is "ugh"...

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. says it discovered that it has overcharged the U.S. government by $265 million for work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and will promptly refund the money with interest.

In a statement released this morning the Fort Worth-based company said it had recently discovered "an inadvertent billing error." Actually, it appears to be the same error over and over. The company had erroneously billed the government in each of the 11 billing periods since the F-35 program launched in late 2001.

Lockheed said the error came in the way it processed invoices from the two major subcontractors, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, but that the error was not the fault of those two companies.

Lockheed said it is in discussions with the U.S. government to determine the appropriate amount of interest that should be paid and will repay the entire amount within a few days. The company said the matter should not have a material impact on Lockheed Martin Corp. financial condition or its performance.

-- Christian

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