National Security

‘Harmed US National Security’: Defense Contractor To Pay $13 Million For Sharing Unauthorized Data To China

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Honeywell, a defense contractor headquartered in North Carolina, will have to pay a fine to the U.S. State Department after the company provided unauthorized technical data to China.

The shared materials included technical data on the F-35 and F-22 fighter jet programs, as well as information on other weapons systems, according to a charging document from the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. In total, the fine amounts to $13 million, split between $8 million paid in civilian penalties and $5 million in “remedial compliance measures,” the State Department said Monday. Aside from China, the information was also distributed to Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Taiwan, according to the State Department.

Honeywell voluntarily disclosed the violations, which occurred between 2011 and 2015, after it “inadvertently shared” the information over “normal business discussions,” the defense contractor said, according to The Hill. “No detailed manufacturing or engineering expertise” was distributed the company claimed. 

Neither the State Department nor Honeywell clarified how sensitive the information was. However, Honeywell’s actions allegedly “harmed U.S. national security,” according to the charging document. 

The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs charging document said there were 34 charges against Honeywell for alleged violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). According to the charging document, 71 drawings containing technical specifications for military aircraft, electronics, and gas turbine engines were shared, including data on the F-35 joint strike fighter, B-1B Lancer long-range strategic bomber, and F-22 fighter aircraft. (RELATED: China To Sanction US Military Contractor Companies Over Arms Sales To Taiwan)

In a statement sent via email to the Daily Caller, Honeywell reaffirmed their commitment to complying with both acts moving forward. “To resolve these issues, Honeywell will pay a fine, engage an external compliance officer to oversee the Consent Agreement for a minimum of 18 months, and will conduct an external audit of our compliance program,” the statement read.

“Since Honeywell voluntarily self-reported these disclosures, we have taken several actions to ensure there are no repeat incidents. These actions included enhancing export security, investing in additional compliance personnel, and increasing compliance training,” Honeywell’s statement added, though they did not specify what, if any, disciplinary action has been taken against responsible employees.