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AF To Seek New Tanker Bids Per Outgoing Boss  
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8483 posts, RR: 9
Posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5480 times:

Fair use:

The ousted head of the U.S. Air Force said Friday he expected the service to seek new bids for midair refueling aircraft from Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp after federal auditors faulted the selection process for a $35 billion program.

The service probably would miss its 2013 goal for putting the new tankers into use, said Michael Wynne, forced to resign as Air Force secretary by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

"I would say there's going to be a lot of fear in the system," Wynne, the service's top civilian, told reporters on his last day in office. At issue, he said, would be "can we ever do this right?"

"The service then "hopefully" would put out a quick, fresh request for proposal "that will allow them (the bidders) to use all the information they've already produced,"

http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN2047118120080621

The mess continues, especially trying to draft a new RFP that will keep both A & B reasonably satisfied and avoid some very real political battles.

59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5458 times:

I wouldn't want to be the one to write the new bid. Essentially it will have to be written in such a way that allows the competition, which in general should favor the KC30 or written to limit the aircraft size/scope in such a way which will make Boeing the winner. I have the feeling that they would like to write similar to what they have and which will reaffirm they current choice. But the political pressure will be enormous and the firestorm will begin again if the decision turns out the same (though I think the "shock" will be gone).

If you want more capacity and capability then its the KC30, if you want basically what you already have then its the KC767

Talk about pressure....

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9244 posts, RR: 76
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

My reading of the GAO statement indicated that the AF would only need to vary 4 areas in the RFP, and even could get solicitations without the reissue of the whole RFP.

"We recommended that the Air Force reopen discussions with the offerors, obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with our decision."

That to me does not read to say redo the whole RFP from scratch, "revised proposals"

The GAO statement did not say the the USAF made an error in selecting the KC-30, nor did they uphold all of the Boeing protest.

What they said is the USAF made some errors in the process, if for example the USAF now said that extra credit will be given for exceeding minimum requirements, it would advantage the KC-30.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10253 posts, RR: 97
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5393 times:
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Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
The mess continues, especially trying to draft a new RFP that will keep both A & B reasonably satisfied and avoid some very real political battles.

In my view this is no longer possible..

Rgds


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5391 times:

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 3):
In my view this is no longer possible..

I agree. The most damning finding was that the USAF deliberately misled. Their credibility has taken a massive hit. Allegations of incompetence are one thing; deception and duplicity are something altogether different. Frankly, I could see these allegations being investigated by the Inspector General, or some other investigative agency. Why they (i.e., the USAF) would do this is utterly confounding.

[Edited 2008-06-21 04:20:50]


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10253 posts, RR: 97
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5377 times:
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Quoting Lumberton (Reply 4):
Frankly, I could see these allegations being investigated by the Inspector General, or some other investigative agency. Why they (i.e., the USAF) would do this is utterly confounding.

Technical merit notwithstanding, I get a gut feeling that the AF would have been delighted to, er, "show Boeing that they're not the only game in town" (politely), after 2002's events.

Having awarded this contract to NG this time around, I feel the AF are now in a situation where both bidders, having at some stage "won" the contract, will now "die in a ditch" before they accept defeat in this competition.

It's not a win-win situation.  no 
I recall that the UK MOD (wrongly) felt that "we" cheated on the Trident Programme, due to the obscene profits we realised (in fact we improved the business's performance by orders of magnitude during the programme - and very painfully - lots of job losses).
As a consequence, they screwed us over on the Astute programme contract, and in the process, did th entire industry insufferable damage. We will be 2 decades recovering (the first of which is nearly completed).

I see parallels in the consequences here.

Rgds


User currently offlineCurt22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5347 times:



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 4):
Frankly, I could see these allegations being investigated by the Inspector General, or some other investigative agency.

I think you're right...after all, the DoD IG is just finishing up investigating the CSAR-X requirements development after accusations of an improper change that favored one vendor (BA). Jury is still out on this claim, but this investigation focused on just ONE point, and one the GAO dismissed in the protest phase at that.

The tanker protest upholds some very serious claims of wrong doing, surely there will be an investigation...We've just seen the CSAF and SECAF fired, and I suspect the source selection team will soon be cleaning out there desks as well.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 5):
having at some stage "won" the contract, will now "die in a ditch" before they accept defeat in this competition.

This too is an accurate statement and while I hate all these protests I can understand the life or death position the vendors feel for each of these events.

Sad days ahead for all in the USAF, BA. NG and EADS...or in others words...Game On!


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4376 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5323 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Thread starter):
The mess continues, especially trying to draft a new RFP that will keep both A & B reasonably satisfied and avoid some very real political battles.

Hopefully, the USAF will issue an RFP this time that truly reflects what they want and won't modify it just to appease either supplier. If they want a larger tanker (or smaller one for that matter), they should make the RFP reflect those desires and then pick the supplier that comes closest to meeting those needs. That's how RFPs are usually conducted and rarely are "requirements" modified to meet the desired product or supplier. That's putting the cart before the horse and this is now the second time the USAF has done this, the first being the 2002 tanker RFP wherein they allowed Boeing to write in some of the specs in the RFP.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 2):
My reading of the GAO statement indicated that the AF would only need to vary 4 areas in the RFP

Funny how my reading of the GAO statement indicates there's a lot more that the AF would need to change. Primarily, it would need to change its entire selection and decision-making process, which is obviously broken.

But I will agree with you in that they don't need to redo the entire RFP. Unfortunately, I think they will because this RFP has become too politicized and the USAF has garnered a bad reputation in the process.



My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5316 times:

I hope someone is working to upgrade the remaining 135E's to R's because this thing isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As Tugger rightfully says, writing a "fair" RFP will be virtually impossible if the same set of basic aircraft specifications are used and a 777 version cannot comply. If they change the specs to let the 777 qualify, will they also give Boeing enough lead time to actually build the airplane? If the specs stay the same, the outcome will stay the same unless the Air Force says smaller is better - not likely.

The politicians will be no help as it is the South/Southwest v. the East and West. Total gridlock. A 767 award is a jobs program pure and simple. The airplane cannot measure up to the A330 in any measurable category (which is a shame as there is a concern over foreign supply. Building the A330 from the ground up in Mobile would make this a non-issue.) Yes the 767 costs less, but it carries less. Pay 10% more and haul 20% more further and that becomes a wash.

Latest from the Air Force is that they ran a fair competition and that the GAO basically didn't know what they were doing. Those on the forum who have to regularly "negotiate" with their external auditors know how anal accountants can be at times so there is probably some validity there.

Splitting the buy is going to be the only way to keep this award in any type desired time frame.


User currently offlinePolymerPlane From United States of America, joined May 2006, 991 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5238 times:



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 8):
Pay 10% more and haul 20% more further and that becomes a wash.

Do you light your stove with a flamethrower?

Cheers,
PP



One day there will be 100% polymer plane
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9244 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5218 times:



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):

Funny how my reading of the GAO statement indicates there's a lot more that the AF would need to change. Primarily, it would need to change its entire selection and decision-making process, which is obviously broken.

Care to expand on that, and quote of relevant parts of the GAO release in context that made you draw that conclusion ?

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):
Unfortunately, I think they will because this RFP has become too politicized and the USAF has garnered a bad reputation in the process.

So has Boeing in my view, in my view they have irrevocably tarnished their relationship with the USAF over this.

The USAF is grown up enough to admit the process was not perfect, and I think everyone on here is of the same view. The GAO have said that some of the protest that Boeing have raised got rejected by the GAO, for example Boeing was trying to get the GAO to "rule" on the size of the KC-X.

Te GAO have also clearly deferred any technical analysis to the USAF.

Boeing was also fully aware that NG was offering an aircraft with more capability, I can see no way a reasonable person could for one second suggest that the additional capability given by the KC-767 and the KC-30 above the RFP/SRD levels would/should not be considered, especially when the SRD specifically asked for the aircraft to exceed the requirements.

Boeing had multiple opportunities to raise issues with the RPF/SRD before it was issues, it had a multitude of meeting with the USAF during the process as well.

If you read the USAF response to the GAO, you will see the tone that they took with Boeing, to me it is obvious they are extremely annoyed at what has happened.

I see this as being a hallow victory for Boeing, as the GAO by no means has identified or stated that the KC-767 was the wrong selection, just that the process was far from perfect. But when you go through any government procurement process, none of them are perfect.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8483 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5194 times:



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 3):
In my view this is no longer possible..

I posted the following in another thread:

"I think that the USAF might end up with an RFP for a *limited* number of direct KC-135 replacements and then re-evaluate their needs for the long term. Both of A & B's proposals were based on older planes, with new designs, like the 787 and 350, heading our way. I don't think that it makes that much sense buying a lot of planes that are close to end of production life (in terms of how long the military will use them) when far better options are available in the near future.

An new review of potential fleets of tankers, based on current knowledge of planes under development, might well leave the USAF with a far more intelligent balance of sizes in the tanker fleet. One that would allow for a more effective and efficient response to situations that may arise 10 to 50 years from now.

Considering the potential benefits of shifting to newer technologies I'm starting to believe that the only ones who have a sense of urgency for a major replacement ASAP will be the plane makers and the generals that want to buy as much as possible as soon as possible."

In terms of a "direct KC-135 replacement the 767 would probably be a cheaper alternative, especially when infrastructure costs are included. The number should be limited to urgently needed replacements - and re-engine the KC-135s that need it.

Airlines deploy different size planes, based on the "mission requirement" and it seems that the AF might actually benefit if they actually spend some time considering this approach, and actually include the potential events that they need to engage in the future.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 8):
writing a "fair" RFP will be virtually impossible if the same set of basic aircraft specifications are used and a 777 version cannot comply. If they change the specs to let the 777 qualify

In reality, wouldn't re-writing the RFT to allow it to be a competition between the 330 and 777 end up being a replacement for the KC-10? I think that would need approval for funding as it would be significantly different than a KC-135 replacement.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
So has Boeing in my view, in my view they have irrevocably tarnished their relationship with the USAF over this.

I think they have tarnished their reputation with some generals that will not be involved in the next RFP. SecDef and Congress will ensure that senior people will be in place who will demonstrate fairness and a clear fear of a congressional investigation.


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4884 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5140 times:
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Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
SecDef and Congress will ensure that senior people will be in place who will demonstrate fairness and a clear fear of a congressional investigation.

will anyone really be put in place before the next administration though?


User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5106 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
SecDef and Congress will ensure that senior people will be in place who will demonstrate fairness and a clear fear of a congressional investigation.

I have some ocean front property in Arizona for you if you believe this statement.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4376 posts, RR: 27
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5105 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
Care to expand on that, and quote of relevant parts of the GAO release in context that made you draw that conclusion ?

Sure, here's the one I find most damning of all from the GAO report:

Quote:
4. The Air Force conducted misleading and unequal discussions with Boeing,

[emphasis added]
http://www.gao.gov/press/press-boeing2008jun18_3.pdf

If the decision-making process is not broken over at the USAF, why would they treat the two suppliers differently? Regardless of the reasons for the different standards of treatment, it shows that the USAF is unable to abide by standards of fairness and integrity.

(By the way, weren't you the one in that long thread last year that was loathe towards how the USAF had treated Boeing so favorably in the 2002 RFP??? Why the sudden acceptance of what appears to be the same problem with the current RFP?)

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
So has Boeing in my view, in my view they have irrevocably tarnished their relationship with the USAF over this.

I wouldn't be so quick to jump to that conclusion. Boeing is still the #2 defense contractor, ahead of Northrop. They also continue to win other USAF contracts, so their reputation can't be that bad. Besides, regardless of how bad their reputation is, the USAF will still need a competitive supplier base to ensure it receives the best hardware at the best price.

However, and more to the point, I would wait awhile before proclaiming that Boeing's - and only Boeing's reputation - is the tarnished one. If some members of Congress have their way, investigations will be forthcoming fairly soon. And it is usually Congressional investigations that lead to findings of corruption. Just like it was a Congressional investigation that found the corruption that torpedoed the 2002 tanker RFP.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
The GAO have said that some of the protest that Boeing have raised got rejected by the GAO, for example Boeing was trying to get the GAO to "rule" on the size of the KC-X.

Would you care to point out where the GAO said Boeing was trying to get the GAO to rule on the size of the KC-X?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
The GAO have also clearly deferred any technical analysis to the USAF.

And rightly so. That is not the GAO's mandate.



My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2406 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5097 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
I think that the USAF might end up with an RFP for a *limited* number of direct KC-135 replacements and then re-evaluate their needs for the long term

That's what this RFP is for - a limited number (150ish) to replace the KC-135Es, with a future program (KC-Z) to replace the bulk of the -135 fleet (400 odd R-models) starting in about 30 years.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
In reality, wouldn't re-writing the RFT to allow it to be a competition between the 330 and 777 end up being a replacement for the KC-10?

Yes it would - that should be covered in the next phase of the program, the KC-Y, which would replace the KC-10s, in about 15 years.



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9244 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5068 times:



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 14):
Sure, here's the one I find most damning of all from the GAO report:

That does not answer my question, I said I saw 4 areas in the RFP that would need to be changed, you said "Funny how my reading of the GAO statement indicates there's a lot more that the AF would need to change", I was asking what in the RFP would need to change.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 14):
(By the way, weren't you the one in that long thread last year that was loathe towards how the USAF had treated Boeing so favorably in the 2002 RFP??? Why the sudden acceptance of what appears to be the same problem with the current RFP?)

Was I ? I dont think I have ever claimed that this RFP was slated to NG ?

Besides that, I still think the KC-30 is a more capable airframe, this GAO statement went to pains to step back from saying that the USAF did or did not pick the technically better tanker when the chose the KC-30, leaving that up to the USAF only.

I don't recall Boeing saying they had problems with the RFP or the process prior to the award, and they made significant changes to their 2002 proposal which makes me think even they recognized that their 2002 bid could have been improved, therefore it was not the best value for the USAF. We also saw the long and significantly delayed KC-767 development since then.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 14):

However, and more to the point, I would wait awhile before proclaiming that Boeing's - and only Boeing's reputation - is the tarnished one. If some members of Congress have their way, investigations will be forthcoming fairly soon. And it is usually Congressional investigations that lead to findings of corruption. Just like it was a Congressional investigation that found the corruption that torpedoed the 2002 tanker RFP.

I don't think anyone was involved with wrong doing, USAF, Boeing, or NG. I simply think Boeing has run to the GAO like a spoilt kid highlighting what are only procedural issues to delay the tanker, and that is what in my view has not done them any favors.

The GAO and Boeing have basically confirmed that the KC-30 was more capable, just the RFP should have defined how these capabilities were assessed. In my view they were via the Integrated Fleet Aerial Refueling Assessment.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 14):
Would you care to point out where the GAO said Boeing was trying to get the GAO to rule on the size of the KC-X?

Pages 39-40 of the Boeing submission to the GAO on March 11, and the USAF motion to dismiss page 16, e.g..

"By claiming the solicitation sought to replace the medium-sized KC-135 with a medium sized tanker, Boeing now improperly asks that the GAO redefine the AF's requirements."



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4959 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
I don't think anyone was involved with wrong doing, USAF, Boeing, or NG. I simply think Boeing has run to the GAO like a spoilt kid highlighting what are only procedural issues to delay the tanker, and that is what in my view has not done them any favors.

This (and much of what you have written) shows an incredibly naivety of the Congressional reaction to USAF granting KC-X to NG. If Boeing did not go to the GAO, many (particularly the WA and KS crews) in Congress would have. Boeing just saved them the trouble.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4376 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4941 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 14):
Sure, here's the one I find most damning of all from the GAO report:

That does not answer my question, I said I saw 4 areas in the RFP that would need to be changed, you said "Funny how my reading of the GAO statement indicates there's a lot more that the AF would need to change", I was asking what in the RFP would need to change.

You are correct in your assessment of the RFP itself. I was commenting on the entire process.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 14):
(By the way, weren't you the one in that long thread last year that was loathe towards how the USAF had treated Boeing so favorably in the 2002 RFP??? Why the sudden acceptance of what appears to be the same problem with the current RFP?)

Was I ? I dont think I have ever claimed that this RFP was slated to NG ?

I didn't say that. The GAO did. What I was commenting on was your disgust with the 2002 RFP which was heavily biased towards Boeing. What I'm trying to find out is where is that same disgust now that the GAO has all but said the current RFP award was favored towards NG?

Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
I don't think anyone was involved with wrong doing, USAF, Boeing, or NG.

Given the scathing findings of the GAO, I think wrong doing will ultimately be found. If you don't think treating two suppliers bidding on the same RFP differently (a finding of the GAO) is reflective of wrong doing then your standard of fairness and integrity are different than what is expected here in the States from government entities.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
I simply think Boeing has run to the GAO like a spoilt kid highlighting what are only procedural issues to delay the tanker,

And do you think if the USAF had awarded the RFP to Boeing on February 29 that NG would not have "run to the GAO like a spoilt kid"?



My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8483 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4914 times:



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 13):
I have some ocean front property in Arizona for you if you believe this statement.

Don't need it - I already have a small investment in some lush tropical land a bit past the Black Stump Down Under. Not much - just cost me my beer money for the week back in the early 80's. Plan to go fishing there one day .  Wink

You might be able to sell it to some ex, very high ranking AF guys. They are going to have some free time on their hands now, unless they get a job at NG. Actually they'll probably need those jobs if Congress starts looking into the matter. Guys in these types of investigations don't go into questioning sessions without at least one well paid, well connected lawyer.

As for the future, I think SecDef will have zero tolerance on errors in the next RFP and selection. If you don't think various members of Congress will be on this like flies on s*** then the land you were talking about selling is probably the parcel you bought.  Big grin


User currently offlineArluna From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 89 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4902 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 19):
As for the future, I think SecDef will have zero tolerance on errors in the next RFP and selection. If you don't think various members of Congress will be on this like flies on s*** then the land you were talking about selling is probably the parcel you bought.

Well said!!!!!!!!!


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4884 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
I don't think anyone was involved with wrong doing, USAF, Boeing, or NG. I simply think Boeing has run to the GAO like a spoilt kid highlighting what are only procedural issues to delay the tanker, and that is what in my view has not done them any favors.

Well clearly the GAO doesn't agree with your assessment that Boeing ran to them like a spoilt kid. Clearly the GAO felt the Airforce was unfair/unethical in their awarding of the contract to NG/EADS. I could counter your statement by saying that clearly NG/EADS had to cheat to win, but it would be just as false as your statement.



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9244 posts, RR: 76
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4786 times:



Quoting N328KF (Reply 17):
This (and much of what you have written) shows an incredibly naivety of the Congressional reaction to USAF granting KC-X to NG. If Boeing did not go to the GAO, many (particularly the WA and KS crews) in Congress would have.

Do you know of a precedent where congress has gone to the GAO rather than one of the parties involved in a contract ?

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 18):
What I'm trying to find out is where is that same disgust now that the GAO has all but said the current RFP award was favored towards NG?

The GAO has made no such statement, neither has Boeing or NG. I do no think that is the case either, everyone, GAO, Boeing, and NG say that the RPF was close., i.e. from the GAO statement "what was a close competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman".

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 18):
If you don't think treating two suppliers bidding on the same RFP differently (a finding of the GAO) is reflective of wrong doing then your standard of fairness and integrity are different than what is expected here in the States from government entities.

I would expect every response to a RFP to be different, it is up to the contractor to put forward their own response to the document. I cannot think of how the content of a KC-767 bid could be the same as the content of a KC-30 bid.

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 18):
And do you think if the USAF had awarded the RFP to Boeing on February 29 that NG would not have "run to the GAO like a spoilt kid"?

I would not have approved if they went to them just on procedural issues, I have consistently said prior to the decision that it was of my view that the KC-30 was technically the better platform.

Boeing has not shown that their tanker is better than the KC-30, and the GAO has not tried to suggest this either.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 21):

Well clearly the GAO doesn't agree with your assessment that Boeing ran to them like a spoilt kid.

Everyone, including the USAF knows that procedural problems/faults/errors occurs in the process, this happens on every contract, it is a problem with the system the US has in place, you dig deep enough you will find something.

The RFP package consisted of 37 files, some of them going into hundreds of pages in length, th USAF seemed to get a lot right in the process as well.

The GAO did not indicate that the USAF made a technical mistake in selecting the KC-30, or not selecting the KC-767, it was procedural errors only in the process.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 21):
Clearly the GAO felt the Airforce was unfair/unethical in their awarding of the contract to NG/EADS

I did not read anything to suggest it was unethical (that may come in the full report), this is a response to the Boeing protest, so it should be highlighting that side of the bid process. The GAO found problems with the bid process, it seems to me that they were making errors on both sides. What surprise me was the tone they took in the statement, I am waiting to see the whole report when it is released.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3432 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4776 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 22):
did not read anything to suggest it was unethical

If you didn't read anything to suggest it was unethical, then there is 3 options here.

A. you have no ethics

B. you can't read

C. you didn't read the GAO report.

Its that simple.

You think its ETHICAL to have double standards between the two bidders?

The GAO found that the USAF failed to apply criteria to the NG bid that was mandatory to meet, and also awarded bonus credit to NG that wasn't allowed under the rules of the request. To that the USAF added on a nice slice of not telling Boeing about certain decisions, and marking them down for it, while continuing a full dialogue with NG.

You think its ETHICAL to judge the relative merits of each side using arbitrary numbers YOU made up that help one side without basis for it, and hurt the other side without the same basis?

The USAF altered Boeing ***FIXED PRICE*** bid in the per plane cost, and in the ***FIXED PRICE*** they offered for spares and support. They raised it by a large amount without merit or basis for doing so. They then, again, without merit reduced NG's bid. Whats more disturbing is that even with them completely cooking the books on the cost front, they couldn't make the Boeing proposal more expensive once someone double-checked their math.

You think its ETHICAL to award the contract to the bidder that failed to prove it can DO the primary task that the bid was for? Look at the third point in the summery
3. The protest record did not demonstrate the reasonableness of the Air Force's determination that Northrop Grumman's proposed aerial refueling tanker could refuel all current Air Force fixed-wing tanker-compatible receiver aircraft in accordance with current Air Force procedures, as required by the solicitation.

Try reading the summery document again.
http://www.boeing.com/ids/globaltanker/files/GAO_decision.pdf

I hope you can see where the people in charge of the selection tossed ethics under the bus then paid the driver to make a few extra trips over the body.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9244 posts, RR: 76
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4761 times:



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 23):
C. you didn't read the GAO report.

No I have not read it, nor have you, it has not been released. I have read 3 page statement.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 23):
You think its ETHICAL to have double standards between the two bidders?

The GAO did not say the USAF was unethical, or applied different standards, you can do a word search of the PDF if you do not believe me.

Unethical would be to supply contents of the bid of one party to the other, as happened in 2002, the GAO did not indicate this was the case.

I fully expected them to have different discussion with each party, they are two different products, at different stages in the development cycle, they were not bidding using the same product that are in the same stage of their development cycle.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 23):
The GAO found that the USAF failed to apply criteria to the NG bid that was mandatory to meet, and also awarded bonus credit to NG that wasn't allowed under the rules of the request. To that the USAF added on a nice slice of not telling Boeing about certain decisions, and marking them down for it, while continuing a full dialogue with NG.

Yes there were procedural errors, everyone admits that, including the USAF. Boeing also failed to meet some selection criteria, which the GAO did not rule on either, like the ability to fly 9,500 nm without refuel.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 23):

You think its ETHICAL to judge the relative merits of each side using arbitrary numbers YOU made up that help one side without basis for it, and hurt the other side without the same basis?

The Integrated Fleet Aerial Refueling Assessment was hardly "arbitrary", it was a virtual fly off. Boeings additional capability of the KC-767AT above the minimum requirement was also used in that assessment.

The USAF failed to document their method before hand, that is a procedural error in the process, not a technical error in the selection of the frame.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 23):
They then, again, without merit reduced NG's bid.

They actually increased the NG numbers as well, just not as much, but the two products are are at very different stages in their development life cycle, the KC-30 is flying, the KC-767AT never built.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 23):
Try reading the summery document again.

I have read it a few times, it is on the GAO site

http://www.gao.gov/press/boeingstmt.pdf

I also used an excerpt of the GAO statement in reply 2 of this thread if you had read it.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
25 F4N : To all: I have to go along with the suggestion that the procurement process at USAF is flawed, if not broken. The tanker bids & the CSR selection of t
26 Curt22 : I have to say there are significant differences between the GAO findings in these two cases. In CSAR-X GAO upheld one point, to paraphrase, the USAF
27 RedFlyer : I wasn't talking about the GAO. What I was asking is why you are not disgusted with NG/EADS knowing they were treated favorably, just as Boeing was i
28 F4N : Curt: The fact that the GAO has had to become involved in either, let alone both, speaks volumes about the selection process. regards, F4N
29 Osiris30 : If you don't consider the quote from the GAO report about the Airforce conducting themselves differently with the two suppliers unethical, remind me
30 Post contains links M27 : Perhaps this article from Mr. Hamilton could be of some interest. Go to the -GAO decision tip of the iceberg comment. http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/
31 Post contains links RedFlyer : " target=_blank>http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/ I haven't found Leeham to be a totally credible source in the past; however, the link in the snip ref
32 Zeke : I have seen no suggestion from the GAO that NG knew they were being treated any differently, neither have I see anything to suggest that the USAF kne
33 Ken777 : The McCain letters noted in the Newsweek article should be made public BEFORE there is a new or modified RFP issued and before the election. The publi
34 Sprout5199 : Zeke, you say this: but then you quote this: This not only shows the USAF stopped talking to Boeing, the even changed things with out telling Boeing.
35 Zeke : The gave both companies the same opportunity to bid on that single requirement of "operational utility", they cut short their discussion with Boeing
36 Atmx2000 : We should also get to know who the anonymous Pentagon sources are who claiming that it had to be drafted by an EADS lobbyist. While I think the subsi
37 KC135TopBoom : That is correct, but the GAO did say the USAF did not demonstrate any integrity in this process. That was the main part of the Boeing protest. "Some
38 Gsosbee : As I said it is going to be East/West v. South/Southeast in Congress. How strong the SecDef is will depend on who is in the White House. One would ex
39 Sprout5199 : They did not "change the assessment method" they changed the assessment, and failed to notify Boeing. Read what it says. They told Boeing that they m
40 KC135TopBoom : That should be investigated as possible criminal activity, by attempting to steer the contract in one direction, or they other.
41 Ken777 : If Obama wins I believe he will pick Sam Nunn for SecDef, or someone with similar credentials. If McCain wins I believe he will pick someone who will
42 TropicBird : After all those reassurances everything was "fair and transparent" we now have this growing mess. There is more to come for sure.
43 KC135TopBoom : If Obama wins, look for the military to get raped, like Carter did. Barack Obama will be Jimmy Carter's second term. Yeah, we really got "fair and tr
44 XT6Wagon : I hate to say it but the "conservatives" have been the ones taking the military to the woodshed for decades now. Not that the democrats were not happ
45 Curt22 : F4N...GAO has to "become involved" whenever a vendor decides to protest. There is no economic or political risk to the vendor should they lose the pr
46 KC135TopBoom : He vetoed those bills because of all the needless pork projects the worthless Democrats added to those bills, and you know it. Are you related to Mur
47 Sprout5199 : I do(as a 11 to 14 year old, glad I served during the Reagan years) But if Cater hadn't canx the B1A, do you think stealth would have came about? If
48 RedFlyer : As you say, YOU have not seen any suggestion. However, the GAO report was so scathing in its findings with regards to the disparate treatment of the
49 KC135TopBoom : I don't think so. between 1977 and 1981, we, in tankers were getting 40 hours of flying time per quarter. Those 40 hours every 3 months were expected
50 Sprout5199 : And was that due to the training(of lack of) or the quality of the people?How about the introduction of new equipment? Or the change from a draft to
51 XT6Wagon : I was specificly refering to Blackwater and other contractors who operate with no checks on thier actions. AS far as 99% of the world outside the US
52 Silentbob : Nor have I, it's not fair to assume facts that are not in evidence How could they not know that they were skewing the competition via their actions?
53 Post contains links Ken777 : Some "pork" is a joke, but some is more than a little important. A lot of our road infrastructure comes from pork, and does some of the money to impr
54 RedFlyer : As you say, given the "available information", it might be hard to draw that conclusion. However, we don't have all of the available information. I w
55 Zeke : The GAO were not as "scathing" as you suggest, the GAO considered 75 complaints from Boeing and upheld ONLY 7. To me that means over 90% of what Boei
56 Post contains links and images RedFlyer : As I just showed you in the other thread, your beloved Loren Thompson that you've been so fond of quoting has even stated the GAO report was pretty b
57 Ken777 : That would depend on what standards are set. The standards set at any of the US military academies are rather high - far higher than, say, Berkley. O
58 Post contains links Gsosbee : Interesting take from the Teel Group: http://www.leeham.net/filelib/Aboulafia08-06letter.pdf As has been discussed in several threads, the GAO report
59 RedFlyer : The GAO can't do that.
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