An O.K. for General Dynamics

Most customers, when they are outrageously overcharged by a company, decide to take their business elsewhere. But the Defense Department is different. In a controversial move last week, the Navy lifted its ban on new contracts with General Dynamics. The reversal came just three months after the service suspended the supplier of nuclear submarines on charges of improperly billing taxpayers $158 million for overhead costs ranging from the kenneling of an executive's dog to the purchase of a company director's kingsize bed. In announcing the sanctions, Navy Secretary John Lehman accused the third largest defense contractor of disregarding the public's trust.


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