Only the case concerning the San Antonio office resulted in an actual suspension. That action, taken by the Air Force, did not affect ongoing work and lasted two months.
The company declined comment on the past cases. But a spokesman, James Fisher, said, “Booz Allen is proud of our reputation for the highest ethical standards, built over nearly 100 years of service to our government and commercial clients.”
As the Snowden story continued to generate front-page news, Booz Allen chief executive Ralph Shrader predicted that his company would overcome the bad publicity from the Snowden leaks.
In remarks to employees at a “town hall” meeting late last month, Shrader said, “I think the important thing to understand is we cannot and will not let Snowden define us.”
“You define us. The work we do for our clients defines us, not the occasional aberrant in our midst,” he added. “There is nothing here for us to hang our heads about. We are a fine, fine firm. We stand on the list of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies. I plan to be on the list year after year.”
The disclosures by Snowden represent one of the most grievous breaches of security in the history of the super-secret NSA. Snowden, 30, who worked for just three months at Booz Allen, managed to obtain top-secret documents detailing broad government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic.
Little is known about how Snowden, a former security guard without a college degree, was able to get top-secret clearance and position himself at Booz Allen to obtain national security secrets.
“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the South China Morning Post on June 12. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”
Booz Allen has accepted responsibility for past complaints of wrongdoing but continued to win contracts.
In 2006, the Justice Department proposed barring the company, along with four other major consultants, from participating in contracts for having received rebates from airlines, credit card companies and hotel chains while billing the government for the full undiscounted cost of the travel. The government dropped its lawsuits against the firms after they agreed to monetary settlements, with Booz Allen submitting nearly $3.4 million to the Treasury.
A few years later, the company received unwanted attention in a federal court prosecution of the MacDill employee working as a “counter threat analyst” at U.S. Central Command’s Joint Intelligence Operation Center in Tampa.