DoD IG

I made an anonymous call to the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office today. For the past year or so Malay employees from Penang and Singapore have been telling some of us here Stateside about serial number swapping on US Government rated orders coming through our Singapore division. Malay working there have been told by their management teams to change serial numbers on instruments that have been 100% built in Malaysia, and then ship them out to US Military and Government agency customers as boxes built in Singapore. Real dirty stuff going on there.

In the past all sensitive US Government orders were produced entirely Stateside. This included orders for defense contractors and foreign militaries. That is no longer the case.

Under current US laws Singapore is the only foreign country in that region of Asia that has been approved for working on military orders. However there are very clear restrictions on how they are built. For example, our products can be tested in Malaysia and they can have some assembly work performed in country. At least 51% of the unit must be built in Singapore. Well, that’s just not happening. At first they were playing sort of a game, shipping boxes back and forth between Penang and Singapore then re-serializing the finished instruments. Now apparently they aren’t even wasting their time with that. They’re just doing the whole thing in Penang then shipping new instruments to Singapore and scraping the Malaysia serial tags off.

Our latest generation of instruments are unreliable and have so many serious electrical failures at all stages of the test process that no guarantee of limiting assembly work in Malaysia to 49% could ever realistically happen. I’ve been aware of these allegations for some months, and I was able to verify that US Government rated orders are in fact being almost exclusively built and tested in Penang then shipping out to the Singapore facility where they get the serial number switcheroo. I have access to all of Penang’s computer systems so I can see individual instruments flowing through their test process. In addition to that I have a record of how long each unit has been in their area as well as how much assembly work they’ve performed on them. The more failures each box has, the more assembly work must be done. On average it’s a massive amount.

Thanks to the negative environment our Shareholder Value CEO and his cronies have created here it’s been easy for me to gain access to more and more information while investigating this. Employees are fed up, angry, and disgruntled. I’ve carefully approached a few key people asking for help concerning this serious issue and everyone has been very supportive. In addition to gaining access to the Penang systems, I was also given accounts with high levels of access in our ordering systems. That way I can look out ahead six months in advance, identify every single US military order and wait to see which production facility it magically appears in.

Part of my plan is to gather enough information over a long period of time so that I can show a pattern of deliberate, willful wrongdoing on the part of this company. I don’t want to make serious accusations like this and not have much hard data or facts to back it up. If I’m going to do this I need to absolutely body slam these fuckers.

I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the situation and there are a number of things that concern me deeply. The Malay have many good workers there, but it is predominantly a Muslim country. Animosity towards the United States is at a much higher level now since the invasion of Iraq. Employees there who distrust and dislike us on religious grounds will have a much easier time deliberately damaging or sabotaging instruments if they know the end user will be a branch of the US military services. They also may be more likely to study how a military customer programs their units, settings and so forth, if those units ever end up back in their facility for repair. We do have security scrub procedures for sensitive customers but you never know; someone could be careless. What if sabotaged test instruments end up in the hands of military users who depend on that equipment to stay alive and it prematurely malfunctions? Maybe someone gets killed. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth risking.

So I call in to the DoD IG’s office just to ask some questions. I need to find out what’s legal, and what isn’t. Put things into a framework. Who knows, I could be way off base with this and the laws have changed. Or something. Anyway, when the phone stopped ringing a tired old woman’s voice with a heavy Southern accent greeted me. I explained that I worked for a high technology electronics company who supplies all branches of US military service with instruments. I also carefully explained the situation with our boxes built in Malaysia and Singapore. I voiced my concerns then I asked a simple question. It was a yes or no question, really.

“Is it legal for my company to manufacture US government defense rated orders in Malaysia?”

The slow, tired old Southern woman’s voice drawled, “You’ll have to check with your employer.”
I was completely stupidified by her response. I’M going to have to check with MY employer about this? Like I can just go up to top management and ask “Hey guys is it cool for us to be switching serial tags on our military boxes in Singapore? Isn’t that illegal? Huh?”
WTF?
Just to be sure I wasn’t going insane or that my ears had suddenly picked up a random brainwave transmission from alien beings on planet eleven I asked the same question a second time. Again she gave me the same answer. “Check with your employer.” This was amazingly retarded, not at all what I expected from the DoD.

Yes it is illegal for US military orders to be built in Malaysia.

OR

No it is not illegal for US military orders to be built in Malaysia.

It’s not that tough of a question to ask a representative of the Department of Defense. Is it? Completely perplexed I asked another question rather sarcastically. “I don’t think my employer is going to tell me one way or the other if our operation in Malaysia is breaking any federal laws, Ma’am. Nor would it be wise to ask. So where would you suggest I look to find an answer?”
She replied, “I don’t know.”

That’s fucking great. I hung up. Guess I’m on my own with this one.

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~ by factorypeasant on July 27, 2006.

2 Responses to “DoD IG”

  1. Nice semicolon!

  2. that was suggested by Samson so he gets to take credit for superior semicolon action. since you approve i am sure he will be pleased.

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