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Air Force secretary takes action on DOD IG report

10/8/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley took administrative action against retired Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the former Air Force chief of staff, for his role in the Thunderbird Airshow Production Services contract.

The decision follows completion of a Department of Defense Inspector General investigation requested by the Senate Armed Services Committee in April 2008.

In December 2005, the contracting office at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., awarded a $50 million contract (including the total value of future options) to Strategic Message Solutions to provide a multimedia presentation for air demonstrations for the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds.

An Air Force review of the source selection in January 2006 identified concerns with the contract process. As a result, Air Force officials terminated the contract with Strategic Message Solutions and requested a Department of Defense Inspector General investigation. The DOD IG investigation, conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, found the contract was tainted with improper influence, irregular contracting practices and preferential treatment for Strategic Message Solutions. Subsequently, then Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne took administrative action on three members, including a general officer, and referred action for two others to their chain of command, for their role in the Thunderbird Airshow Production Services contract. The DOD IG's initial investigation did not contain any substantiated findings against General Moseley.

At the request of Sens. Carl. Levin and John McCain, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the DOD IG conducted a further review of the conduct of Air Force senior officials and examined General Moseley's conduct with regard to the Thunderbird Airshow Production Services contract. The resulting DOD IG report concluded General Moseley violated well-established standards of conduct in the Joint Ethics Regulation and the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Specifically, he provided preferential treatment to a contractor, Strategic Message Solutions; created the appearance of improper disclosure of nonpublic information to Strategic Message Solutions; misused subordinates' time and government property; and solicited a gift and accepted gifts from a prohibited source. Based on the findings, the DOD IG recommended Secretary Donley consider appropriate corrective action with regard to General Moseley.

As a result of his review of the DOD IG report, Secretary Donley determined administrative action was warranted against General Moseley and administered a letter of admonishment in retirement.

"General Moseley's years of dedicated service temper but do not excuse his failure in this case to live up to the well-established standards of conduct expected of all Airmen," Secretary Donley said. "Everyone is accountable for his or her actions. This is especially so for our senior leaders who must also create an environment where subordinates respect established standards and are willing to engage when things are not right."

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