Reuters reports that Boeing has submitted to an independent review of its compliance and ethics practices under an agreement with NASA and the U.S. Air Force in the wake of scandal relating to its bid to built the space agency’s crewed lunar lander.
The agreement, signed in August, comes as federal prosecutors continue a criminal investigation into whether NASA’s former human exploration chief, Doug Loverro, improperly guided Boeing space executive Jim Chilton during the contract bidding process.
By agreeing to the “Compliance Program Enhancements”, the aerospace heavyweight staves off harsher consequences from NASA and the Air Force – its space division’s top customers – such as being suspended or debarred from bidding on future space contracts.
The agreement calls for Boeing to pay a “third party expert” to assess its ethics and compliance programs and review training procedures for executives who liaise with government officials, citing “concerns related to procurement integrity” during NASA’s Human Landing System competition.
Loverro resigned his NASA post in May. Reuters reports that Boeing has fired a company attorney and a number of mid-level employees. The company has also revised its procurement procedures.
NASA rejected Boeing bid on the human lander for the Artemis program, which aims to land two astronauts at the south pole of the moon in 2024.
NASA awarded study contracts to Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX. The space agency plans to award a multi-billion contract to build the lander.