The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General will do a comprehensive audit of the FAA’s contracting out of the Automated Flight Service Station system and it’s already got a half-billion dollar discrepancy to investigate. When the contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin last year, the FAA said it would save $2.2 billion over the life of the deal. Now that figure has been revised to $1.7 billion — an alteration that’s piqued the interest of the Inspector General. “We are aware of the difference and will be looking into this as part of our review,” IG spokesman David Barnes told Government Executive. Lockheed took over the system last October and is in the process of consolidating the 58 FSS operations into 20, which naturally means job losses and transfers for employees. It’s by far the largest example of competitive outsourcing every undertaken by the government. Inspector General audits are often undertaken at the request of government members but Barnes said the IG is doing this one on its own initiative because of the landmark nature of the process.