A Fellow Whistleblower, Paul Grauber, Beats Me to the Press, and Writes a Book on His Experiences with Industry, FAA, and DOT OIG Corruption.
Paul Grauber, a fellow whistleblower that I have communicated with and advised on occasion, has just put out his own book on Industry, FAA, and DOT OIG corruption that he personally experienced in his workplace at an aerospace parts manufacturer in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.
Mr. Grauber, Chief Inspector at the company, was physically assaulted by his management and other personnel in December, 2004, when he reported numerous cases of QA fraud within the company to company management and the defective parts they were intentionally delivering to Boeing and other customers.
He had to be removed from the premises by ambulance after the assault, and was disabled by the attack.
That surely beats my experience of assault at Boeing itself, when a several thousand pound jet engine was pushed into me and the Manufacturing Manager of the area then told me “that’s what happens to inspectors who don’t work with shop (Manufacturing).” (What he meant by “inspectors who don’t work with shop” was “inspectors who don’t rollerstamp”—inspectors who don’t stamp inspections off as done when they are not done as required.) I was just pushed over by the engine and caught myself before being knocked completely over.
Mr. Grauber’s experiences also closely tracked my experiences as a whistleblower and inspector in several other ways.
At his company, the Manufacturing Department that the QA Department was supposed to independently oversee effectively controlled the QA Department, compromising the quality, safety, and reliability of the parts. This is also what I experienced at Boeing, where it was most often impossible to tell the difference between a QA manager and a Manufacturing manager, as both acted and operated as if they were both Manufacturing managers and/or the QA management acted as if it reported to Manufacturing Management and, like them, were often only concerned about cost and schedule goals, when the QA Department was supposed to be an independent organization focused on quality assurance.
His company relied on QA fraud to meet cost and schedule goals, just as Boeing and other companies I have worked for have. They understaffed the company with inspectors, unauthorized sampling inspections instead of 100% inspections were done, paperwork was falsified (as happens every time an uninspected part is delivered with paperwork stating it has been inspected as conforming), raw material and other components were rollerstamped into the company and used on parts without the required receiving inspection, tooling calibration was falsified as being done when it was not, among other serious discrepancies.
Although his reports of fraud were not limited to these parts, one incident Mr. Grauber reported was defective fuel line brackets for Boeing 777 turbofan engines being shipped in that defective condition because Boeing/Boeing’s supplier needed them urgently. They had mislocated holes and other defects that could cause a preload condition, possibly endangering the integrity of the fuel feed to the engines.
But Mr. Grauber’s experiences of fraud and corruption did not stop at his company. He found, just as I did, that when he reported this documented fraud to the FAA and later the DOT OIG, the FAA and OIG participated in covering up the fraud for the benefit of the company, endangering airline passengers and crew in the process by doing such fraudulent and bogus investigations of the corruption at the company.
And he experienced the same corrupt OIG I did, which, just as it did with my report of FAA fraud, they assigned the FAA to investigate itself rather than perform an independent investigation of the FAA corruption themselves as any rational and uncorrupted oversight organization would do.
The FAA is still a corrupt organization for the most part, especially in management, even well after the Southwest Airlines debacle and related Oberstar hearings. Consequently, nothing it does has any appreciable integrity, especially when it delegates its own functions improperly to companies such as Boeing.
And, therefore, no certificates or such improper/undeserved delegations have any meaning, as they were granted by an almost entirely corrupted agency management. Therefore the 787 Type and Production Certificates will have no real validity, as a certificate certifying integrity given by an agency without any integrity has no integrity. This is the serious problem with the OIG and the FAA covering up and participating in industry corruption instead of documenting and ending it. Those cover-ups occurred in Mr. Grauber’s case, my case, and other cases. Quid pro quo hiring by industry of FAA officials is a large part to blame for the corruption, as in the Tom McSweeney case that doomed any chance at the Special Technical Audit of 1999/2000 making any reforms of the corruption it found at Boeing. Of course, more than quid pro quo hiring is likely involved, but that is impossible to tell unless the bribed or the bribers turn themselves in. The hiring of FAA personnel by industry and industry associations is vastly more public, and an official's historical actions on behalf of the company and against the public interest while at the FAA can be easily be seen once they take the quid pro quo job.
Actually, the corrupt DOT OIG organization is at the very root of both FAA and industry corruption. Without such intentionally bogus investigations as were performed in Mr. Grauber’s and my cases, that corruption could not thrive and continue as it does today so prevalently at companies such as Boeing and other aerospace suppliers.
The OIG even acknowledges its failure to stop fraud in the FAA and industry by the letters it sends out when it receives a report of fraud with the caveat, “due to the volume of complaints it receives….” If the OIG was doing its job, it would not be receiving such huge numbers of complaints each year. If it was doing its job complaints would actually be reducing in number each year. Factor in the fact that the OIG doesn’t actually investigate complaints it receives with any integrity for the most part, and you have the carte blanche that exists today where aerospace industry companies like Boeing and Mr. Grauber’s company and FAA Management can commit fraud openly at will without any fear of ever being held to account for those crimes endangering the public safety or the numerous defective parts and aircraft produced by such companies ever being corrected before one of those defects kills or injures people.
Of course, even deaths and injuries because of such fraud are not enough to get the FAA and DOT OIG to do their jobs, as pilots are routinely blamed for crashes that were caused by defects in the aircraft they were flying.
I highly recommend his book to everyone, especially any people concerned about their safety while flying, and the industry and government corruption that is compromising that safety.
Sadly, despite my assistance in trying to guide Mr. Grauber through the corrupt FAA and DOT OIG in order to get the QA fraud at his company addressed, the investigation of the fraud he reported was nixed completely by corrupt FAA and OIG personnel. This shows that it is impossible to get an honest and thorough investigation of fraud by the FAA or OIG, even when trying to navigate through those corrupt agencies with the help of someone who knows all about that corruption.
There, sadly, is no way to get such fraud properly investigated with such agencies still so wholly corrupted.
I keep looking for evidence that either the FAA or the OIG is capable of honestly and thoroughly investigating fraud in the safety critical aviation industry, and is willing to prosecute people that commit such fraud in industry or the FAA (in the OIG’s case) but so far have not seen any.
I expect soon to have another example of an agency investigation to post on this blog, however the verdict of how the agency will respond to the person’s report to the agency is not yet in. Perhaps the handling of that investigation will prove to be the only agency investigation I have seen that was properly conducted and free of bias and fraud. But I am not hopeful, of course, considering the above.
The following is a message I received from the author, Paul Grauber:
On Wednesday, January 20, 2010, paul grauber wrote:
“Well, you were right. Both the FAA/OIG offices did nothing. In an effort to put this behind me and bring closure I decided to write a book. My book is now complete and listed for sale on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble bookstore and Trafford Publishing and many other places. I have created a Facebook page and have a good many friends as well as fans. Hoping you would have time to check out the fan page, as well as the book. Thank you for the information exchange when I needed it most. You are an inspiration to people who do not believe in trading their morals and values for a paycheck.
Thank you, Paul Grauber”
Paul has become an inspiration to me on publishing my own book on Boeing/Boeing Supplier/FAA/OIG fraud. I thank him for that. There are many extraordinary occurrences so far not revealed even on my website and blog that will be covered in my book.
Please see the links below to purchase Mr. Grauber’s new book, “At What Cost? A Whistleblower’s Story,” as well as his Facebook page for the book. I think his book is on its second printing already, so get yours while there are copies available in stock:
In late 2004, an inspector in the aeronautical industry made a life-changing decision to inform his employer about defective fuel line brackets being shipped for installation on commercial jets. As he left his superior’s office, he was grabbed from behind, punched in the head, and forced to the floor where he was beaten by three men. When he awoke, a police officer stood over him and the inspector was soon cited for an altercation he never initiated.
Paul Grauber provides an insider’s glimpse into the aeronautical industry, where the need to supply more airplanes or parts for already manufactured airplanes has forced the kind of changes that could eventually have a devastating effect on the industry. Grauber discloses how his decision to blow the whistle on his employer led to a chain of horrific events including being shunned by the company’s union, receiving a termination letter in the mail, coping with continuing medical conditions, and battling with the subsequent unemployment and legal issues.
At What Cost? is the inspirational story of one man who decided not to trade in his values and integrity for the security of a paycheck, but instead, chose to stand up for the truth.
The Last Inspector