WASHINGTON — The bottom dropped out of the toilet seat business today, as Lockheed Corp. marked down its price on a jet toilet seat from $317 to $1.
A Lockheed spokesman said the item, which Pentagon critics had pointed to as a well-publicized symbol of government waste, had been discounted to "take toilet seats out of the headlines."
At issue was the cost of toilet seat lids for the Air Force C-5 jet transport--originally $317 each but reduced to $286 each after a congressional investigation.
Lockheed said the price remained high because a relatively small number of the specially designed items drove unit costs up, but congressional critics were not satisfied.
The spokesman said Lockheed had decided to give the seats to the Air Force free of charge in order to end the controversy but were told government regulations required some payment. The agreed price was $1 each for 31 toilet seat lids.