The Defense Department’s inspector general has launched an evaluation to assess whether the U.S. Air Force has exercised extreme discretion about the basic details of a potential $80 billion program to develop the new B-21 bomber aircraft, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
The DoD IG office needs to submit within six months an evaluation report to Congress in compliance with a provision of a $1.17 trillion budget package for fiscal 2017.
Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy to the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, said the review seeks to examine the service branch’s disclosure activities with a goal to “balance program classification with the transparency that we’re shooting for.”
The Pentagon’s IG office is “analyzing how much we are releasing or are not releasing, to give us recommendations on how to move forward,” Bunch added.
The review came seven months after the Government Accountability Office released a redacted version of its February ruling to uphold the service branch’s decision to select Northrop Grumman for the bomber aircraft development program.
The military branch also disclosed the cost goals per aircraft, subcontractors and a sketch of the plane, the report added.