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WASHINGTON D.C.-DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is under scrutiny by the Pentagon, over monies it gave to a company that the head of DARPA co-owns and is run by her father.
Regina Dugan, the director of DARPA since 2009, left the agency in 2005, prior to leaving, she was a senior official with the agency. During her absence from the agency, she co-founded the company, RedX with her father, Vince Dugan. The company would receive $4.3 million in contracts from DARPA from the time she left the agency, until her return as Director in 2009. Since her return, RedX has received an additional $1.75 million in contracts from DARPA.
RedXDefense, is a DARPA contractor, based in Maryland. The company specializes in devices that detects trace amounts of explosives. It is particularly helpful in detecting road-side bombs, and has been successful in locating road-side bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to Dugan’s 2010 financial disclosure statement, the company has no fair market value and that the company owes her for a loan she made to it totaling $250,000. Unlike the Pentagon, where senior officials there must sell holdings that can pose a conflict of interest, DARPA has no similar rules in place. It is found that many of the executives hold substantial interests in companies contracting to DARPA. Nevertheless, the Project on Government Oversight is urging an investigation into potential conflicts of interest.
DARPA is responsible for such successes as the Predator Drone, Stealth aircraft as well as the creation of what has now become the Internet.