Simply amazing, I’m going to summarize this article here, and provide links to the original posting at the Daily Caller.

Here’s what happened: A contracts specialist working at the US Dept of State, employed by contractor ATSG, awarded more than $52 million in contracts to a three-person company, owned and operated by her husband and daughter (two of the three employees). All parties lied about the relationships. The relationships are not mere speculation; wedding photos were found on social media sites, they have joint property and the contractor even has a boat by the same name as the husband-daughter team’s company.

The greater U.S. federal government is one of our primary customers, so I find this particularly appalling. I haven’t seen this story in any mainstream media and I don’t know how credible the source is, but it sure looks like a true story to me.

Worse yet for me personally; ATSG LLC is a group whose foundation we contributed to as early as 2003. In fact, I designed their original logo then for them; it’s still quite similar now eight years later. Some of the original founders are still there, so I truly hope ATSG responds appropriately and maintains its reputation through the incident. This comes as a huge blow in the current economic and political climate, when everyone’s trying to cut fluff spending and government spending. Last I knew in my dealings with ATSG, they were a solid group of folks with good values and a passion for their business. Here’s to hopin’ that’s still the case.

A special investigation by The Daily Caller has discovered that a State Department contract specialist participated in awarding more than $52 million in taxpayer-funded contracts to a company owned and operated by her husband and daughter.

Kathleen McGrade helped their company, Sterling Royale Group, win 43 federally funded contracts over the last few years.

Read the original story State Dept. contract officer steers $52 million to secret husband, daughter by The Daily Caller on 2011-07-19.

The more this investigator dug, the more juicyness he found. In this next article link (part II) The Daily Caller found the daughter’s ex-fiance, who attended the marriage of the contractor, and noted that the daughter didn’t really actually work at the company she supposedly helped run; they put her name on the door so they could be registered as a woman-owned business. I can say from a very recent experience in our office, that several organizations are doing some extreme vetting of woman-owned businesses and other specialized vendor categories that benefit from government assistance and contracting set-asides.

For more on this part of the story, keep reading the link above and proceed to page two. Yep, it just keeps getting better.

It looks like the State Department has terminated this contract employee. That news just comes to us today. I don’t know what will happen next, but personally I hope they make an example out of the family members, as well as the third employee of the seemingly faux company, if he had any involvement. I can’t imagine he didn’t know what was going on – we’re talking about a three-person operation with one person perennially absent.

“Upon learning of the allegations, the Department immediately relieved Ms. McGrade of her responsibilities,” Laine said in an email. “Subsequently, the Department instructed her company that her employment at the Department is terminated.”

Laine also told TheDC in an email that McGrade was not a “contracting officer.” (State Dept. contract officer steers $52 million to secret husband, daughter)

“She was a management analyst, providing support in the contacting [sic] process,” Laine wrote.

This contradicts the State Department’s own website, which calls McGrade a “contract specialist.” Several contracting experts told TheDC that a “contract specialist” is a job title, but she likely approved the contracts personally. McGrade was the only State Department contact listed on publicly available documents related to those contracts.

Read the original story State Dept Terminates Contractor by The Daily Caller on 2011-07-20.

To the Daily Caller, and reporter Matthew, I say kudos on good digging. I hope everything you discovered is true, and I hope the information is put to good use.

As a member of a family-owned business, and a legitimate woman-owned business, servicing the federal government, I’m just appalled. It’s a criminal offense, so I say prosecute to the fullest.

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Author, speaker, and recognized authority on network and wireless security architectures, Jennifer (JJ) Minella helps organizations solve technical problems and align teams.

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