Larsen: Deepwater Program Even Deeper in Trouble</A

Apr 18, 2007


Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s investigation and hearing today into failures by the Coast Guard and its contractors to successfully retrofit 123-foot patrol boats as part of the $24 billion Deepwater Program:

“Investigations by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have revealed that the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program is even deeper in trouble.

“I have grave concerns that the Coast Guard’s 123-foot cutters were handling classified information without being properly certified.  That is simply irresponsible and it may have compromised our national security.”

“Across the board, it seems the Coast Guard’s contractors have been more interested in cutting costs and corners than in delivering safe cutters so the Coast Guard can protect our shores.”

“The people who negotiated the Deepwater contract were in deep over their heads.  The Coast Guard let contractors get away with finishing the job quickly without making sure that they got it done right. When the contractors delivered a shoddy product, the Coast Guard failed to hold them accountable. Even more troubling, under the Coast Guard’s contract the same contractors could have been awarded another lucrative deal to fix their own mistakes.

“I applaud the Coast Guard’s announcement yesterday that they will be taking steps to regain control over the floundering Deepwater project.  The Coast Guard has failed to provide appropriate oversight, and American taxpayers are footing the bill.”