Boeing overcharged the Air Force on spare-parts orders for its surveillance planes over a three-year period, a report by the Government Accountability Office said.

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Boeing overcharged the Air Force on spare-parts orders for its surveillance planes over a three-year period, a report by the Government Accountability Office said.

The Air Force has paid about $23 million to Boeing since late 2001 for spare parts for the AWACS — or Airborne Warning and Control System planes — without seeking competitive bids, according to the report released Tuesday. Boeing set the prices for those sales, which in some cases included costs for new tools.

“We found that Air Force contracting officers did not obtain and evaluate appropriate pricing information that would have provided a sound basis for negotiating fair and reasonable prices for the spare parts,” the congressional auditors wrote.

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Boeing’s Air Force contracts face heightened scrutiny since the Air Force’s former acquisition chief, Darleen Druyun, admitted giving favorable treatment to Boeing in exchange for a job at the company. She is serving nine months in federal prison for violating federal conflict-of-interest laws.

Boeing spokesman David Sloan and Air Force spokesman Doug Karas said they had not seen the report and would reserve comment until reviewing it.

The report doesn’t provide an estimate of the overcharges. A $7.9 million contract for 24 cowlings that cover the plane’s engines, for example, included $1.1 million for Boeing to buy new tools, the report said.

The Air Force disregarded the Pentagon’s contract-management-agency recommendation that existing tools be used, the report said.

“Subsequent to the contract award, Boeing — not the Air Force — determined that extensive government-owned tooling was available,” according to the report. Boeing won approval in May 2004 to use the government-owned tools, albeit after the “unnecessary tool purchase costs,” the report said.

Boeing later agreed to negotiate a price reduction on the cowlings contract, according to a letter from John Biciocchi, head of contracts and pricing for Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems Aerospace Support, sent to the government auditors and included in the report. Boeing also said it provided to the Air Force all the information required by law.