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NRI accuses GAO of hushing up scientific fraud

Written by: Staff

New York, Apr 3: An Indian-American senior congressional investigator has accused his agency of hushing up a scientific fraud among the builders of a 26 billion dollar system, aimed at protecting the United States from a possible nuclear attack, according to a news report.

Subrata Ghoshroy, 56, charged the 85-year-old Government Accountability Office (GAO) of ignoring evidence that the two main contractors had doctored data, skewed test results and made false statements in a report four years ago. He headed technical analyses of a prototype warhead for an anti-missile weapon in an 18-month study.

However, the agency strongly denied his accusations, insisting that its anti-missile report was impartial, The New York Times reported yesterday.

GAO, an investigative arm of the US Congress, is considered non-partisan and it is probably for the first time that such allegations have been made against it.

The disputed weapon is the centerpiece of the Bush administration's anti-missile plan, which is expected to cost more than 250 billion dollars over the next two decades.

His claim raised new questions about the Boeing Co's military arm, the main contractor for the troubled 26 billion dollar system of interceptor rockets.

Mr Ghoshroy, a senior analyst with seven years of service at the GAO, levelled charges in a recent letter to Representative Howard L Berman, a California Democrat, who along with Senator Charles E Grassley, a Republican of Iowa, originally requested the GAO study. Berman's office provided his letter to The New York Times, along with many of documents.

Mr John P Holdren of the university described Ghoshroy as ''smart, capable and honest.'' Mr Ghoshroy is currently on leave from GAO and is now research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has won several awards for his ''great care'' and tremendous skill and patience''.

In an interview with The New York Times, head of GAO David M Walker described Mr Ghoshroy as a ''relatively low-level, disgruntled, employee''.

Mr Ghoshroy said he found it ''totally amazing'' that the GAO refused to admit that its report misinformed Congress and the public.

''I am concerned that there's no one out there to oversee the overseer,'' the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Mr Ghoshroy was born in India. He earned his master's in electrical engineering from Northeastern University based in Boston in 1973.

He worked at Princeton, for military contractors and for the House National Security Committee in Washington before joining GAO in 1998 as a senior Defense analyst.

He has written numerous technical reports and wrote several scientific papers. He has also written science policy and arms control in South Asia.


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