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Boeing meets independent ethics test over bids on lunar landers



(Reuters) – Boeing Co. is subject to an independent review of its compliance and ethical practices, in accordance with an agreement reached with NASA and the US Air Force and seen by Reuters, as part of extending the fallout from its behavior in offering to supply lunar landing craft.

The agreement, signed in August, comes as federal prosecutors continue a criminal investigation into whether NASA's former human exploration chief, Doug Loverro, incorrectly guided Boeing's space chief Jim Chilton during the contract's bidding process.

By agreeing to the "Enhancements to the Compliance Program", space gravity averts harsher consequences from NASA and the Air Force ̵

1; its space customers' main customers – such as being temporarily suspended or rejected from bidding for future space contracts.

The agreement requires Boeing to pay a "third party expert" to assess its ethics and compliance program and review training procedures for executives in contact with government officials, citing "procurement integrity concerns" during NASA's Human Landing System competition .

Since Loverro left in May, Boeing has fired a corporate lawyer and a group of middle-class employees, three people familiar with the documents said. Reuters.

Boeing has also revised its internal procurement integrity procedures and distributed new training materials to employees under the agreement.

"We did not meet our own high expectations, or our customers' expectations of (human landing) procurement," Boeing spokesman Damien Mills told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We appreciate the productive dialogue we have had with the agencies and believe that the agreement will help us meet these expectations in the future." Mills added.

Boeing's space activities were already under NASA review for its tested 2019 test flight of its Starliner space capsule.

NASA did not return requests if com meant. A lawyer for Loverro declined to comment. The Air Force did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agreement requires Boeing to meet quarterly with NASA and Air Force officials until 2022 to provide updates on its ethics and improvement measures.

The agreement and the criminal justice probe. derived from NASA's most ambitious space exploration: sending humans back to the moon 2024 during an accelerated timeline set by the Trump administration in 2019.

In April, NASA bypassed Boeing and awarded contracts totaling $ 1 billion to Elon Musk's SpaceX, the founder of Amazon.com Inc., Jeff Bezos & # 39; Blue Origin, and Leidos Inc. affiliated Dynetics to build lunar lander vehicles capable of transporting astronauts to the moon in 2024.

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