WASHINGTON, March 22 The U.S. Defense
Department's inspector general's office on Tuesday said it has
opened an investigation of comments made by a former United
Launch Alliance executive who suggested the Pentagon improperly
tipped a competition for rocket launches in his company's favor.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter last week referred the matter
to the Pentagon's independent watchdog agency following strong
statements by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John
The investigation will examine the former executive's
comments and "whether contracts to ULA were awarded in
accordance with DoD and Federal regulations," the office said in
a memorandum posted on its website.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Dan Grebler)