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Aerojet Settlement of Army Overcharge to Total $590,000

November 22, 1989|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Aerojet-General Corp. agreed Monday to pay the government $590,000 to settle claims that it overcharged the Army on contracts for film display panels, the Justice Department said.

Aerojet reported the violation to the government under the Defense Department's Voluntary Disclosure Program, which encourages contractors to report misconduct to avoid prosecution.

The Justice Department agreed to take no further action against the company on the overcharges. However, the firm still could be temporarily or permanently barred from future Pentagon business as a result of its admissions.

The contracts were with an Aerojet subsidiary, Aerojet ElectroSystems Co. of Azusa, which improperly charged labor costs to overhead accounts when direct payments under the contract were exhausted, according to federal prosecutors.

Aerojet ElectroSystems built thin film display panels, an advanced means of displaying data using electroluminescence.

Under terms of the agreement, signed Monday, Aerojet will pay the government $278,000 in addition to an earlier payment of $312,000. In addition, the company will pay all the costs of investigating and settling the case, the Justice Department said.

"This is not a new thing . . . this is just the end (payment) of the total $590,000," an Aerojet spokeswoman said. "As far as we are concerned, the system worked. We found this on a self audit."

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