Lockheed Martin Whistleblower Case

Jun 18th, 2015
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In 2003 Michael DeKort faced an ethical quandary. He thought his company's shipbuilding project for the U.S. Coast Guard was dangerously off-course. Cables weren't up to code; communication equipment wasn't secure; external equipment wasn't weatherproof. He was convinced that both sailors and national security were at risk-but he couldn't persuade his superiors.DeKort was Lockheed Martin Corporation's lead engineer on an early stage of the 25-year, $24 billion program known as Deepwater. It was supposed to modernize the Coast Guard's fleet of ships and aircraft for its post-9/11 mission to secure the country's shorelines. DeKort was working on one of the first of many planned projects that involved a collaboration between Lockheed and Northrop Grumman Corporation; this one expanded 110-foot patrol boats into 123-foot cutters. He says he pointed out flaws in the project from the get-go. When his concerns were ignored by managers up the line, he did what his company's much-praised ethics p

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Lockheed Martin Whistleblower CaseAttention Must Be Paid David HechlerCorporate CounselJanuary 01, 2008In 2003 Michael DeKort faced an ethical quandary. He thought his company's shipbuilding project for the U.S. Coast Guard was dangerously off-course. Cables weren't up to code; communication equipment wasn't secure; external equipment wasn't weatherproof. He was convinced that both sailors and national security were at risk-but he couldn't persuade his superiors.DeKort was Lockheed Martin Corporation's lead engineer on an early stage of the 25-year, $24 billion program known as Deepwater. It was supposed to modernize the Coast Guard's fleet of ships and aircraft for its post-9/11 mission to secure the country's shorelines. DeKort was working on one of the first of many planned projects that involved a collaboration between Lockheed and Northrop Grumman Corporation; this one expanded 110-foot patrol boats into 123-foot cutters. He says he pointed out flaws in the project from the get-go. When his concerns were ignored by managers up the line, he did what his company's much-praised ethics program had trained him to do: He filed an internal complaint in 2004. He spent two years pursuing three separate internal investigations-all in an effort to persuade Lockheed ethics officers to push the company to fix the problems. But the officers kept saying his allegations were baseless. In February 2006 DeKort phoned the hotline of the U.S. Department of Homeland Securi

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