It turns out that Booz Allen, the government contractor for the NSA that Edward Snowden worked for, vastly overpays its force of computer wizards.
According to an article profiling the company in Bloomberg Businessweek, employees at Booz Allen make $207,000 on average each year. This seems a bit steep when compared to the $125,000 that an average employee makes at the NSA, which includes benefits and pension.
The company has also been notorious for delays and cost overruns over the last decade.
Back in 2002, Booz Allen was part of a five-company NSA project known as Trailblazer. Expected to cost $280 million and be done in a little over two years, the project never reached anything approaching completion and was shut down in 2006 after costing billions of dollars.
Thomas Drake, an engineer who leaked the failure of the Trailblazer program, was actually charged with treason – though the charges were dropped after four years of investigations and trial, as reported in this Huffington Post article from 2011.
A similar project for the Department of Homeland Security that began in 2003 was budgeted to cost $2 million. According to this Washington Post article from 2007, the cost exploded into the hundreds of millions in a period of only two years – with contracts given to the company without taking bids from competing contractors.
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