Report | July 19, 2013

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Properly Awarded Contracts for Disc-Rotor Research and Development



We conducted this audit in response to a congressional request for the DoD Inspector General to investigate a constituent’s complaint concerning an improper contract award for disc-rotor technology. We determined whether Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) personnel complied with Federal laws and DoD guidance when awarding contracts to The Boeing Company (Boeing) for disc-rotor technology research and development.


DARPA personnel followed Federal and DoD acquisition regulations when awarding two contracts for disc-rotor technology research and development to Boeing. The total obligated value of the contracts was about $8.9 million as of June 20, 2013. Specifically DARPA personnel:

  • properly awarded contract HR0011-07-C-0076 to Boeing on June 25, 2007, for $499,972, to perform a seedling concept study, a disc-rotor research effort, with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI). DARPA contracting personnel competitively awarded the contract based on Boeing’s white paper and subsequent proposal submission to Broad Agency Announcement 06?15 to develop innovative ideas in the areas of aerospace systems and tactical multipliers. DARPA personnel received 147 white paper topic submissions and 72 proposals to Broad Agency Announcement 06-15.    
  • properly awarded contract HR0011-09-C-0056 to Boeing onJanuary 30, 2009, for about $7.3 million. DARPA contracting personnel properly awarded the noncompetitive contract as a logical follow-on to the earlier effort conducted by Boeing and VPI.

  • followed appropriate procedures when responding to the complainant’s white paper and proposal submissions. DARPA personnel responded to three of four white paper submissions with a recommendation based on the relevance to the mission and a preliminary technical assessment. Finally, DARPA personnel appropriately notified the complainant that his proposals were not selected for award based on their evaluation.

Overall, DARPA personnel complied with a fair and competitive contract award process for disc-rotor technology research and development. DARPA personnel openly competed the procurement, properly solicited, and properly awarded disc-rotor technology contracts to Boeing.


No written response to this report was required. Therefore, we are publishing this report in final form.

This report is a result of Project No. D2013-D000CG-0058.000.