sxf24
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:54 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 149):
The KC45 came out winning on all key areas & the USAF never said it may not be bigger then a KC767, never.

You obviously aren't familiar with the government RFP process.

It is not usually a "here's our minimum requirements and use your discretion to provide the most creative, out of the box solution." Legally, the RFP is a request for a product that MEETS certain criteria the customer has deemed to be critical. Bidders are judged on their ability to MEET the criteria and typically the bidder with who MEETS the criteria at the LOWEST cost wins.

If the USAF wanted a bigger tanker, they are LEGALLY obligated to ask for it. They didn't.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:06 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 18):
Now I be twho ever wins next time there will be another protest! This thing could drag on for some time.

I agree. A wrong kind of precedent has been set here and we're going to pay for it for years to come.
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na
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:13 pm

I expected this from a "patriotic" court. No surprise at all. Here in Europe it would likely be the other way around.

The decision about what to decide for must reflect a 40 year service life, otherwise it doesn´t make sense. Remember that some KC-135s are 50 years old already, and the KC-10 past 20 now. How can you buy a product almost 30 years old, when you expect it to work until 2050 and longer. This is not said to lobby the A330 in the first place, but to buy and rely on such an old type as the 767 sounds ridiculous for me. Even the A330 is getting old, but at least its a full decade fresher. Didn´t a highranking USAF general say after the decision to buy A330 tankers that the Airbus was far superior? Where did that judgement go?

That 767s are already being scrapped by airlines as they´re getting old, the 762 being obsolete anyway, and is generally an aircraft design from the last millenium, developed around 1980 when "Dallas" was the hottest show on TV would make it look even more stupid and backwards orientated under the current fuelprice explosion scenario if in the end Boeing would get that contract with such an old product. I predict that under the expected further development of the fuel market 767 tankers will be uneconomical before 2030, even for the Nation´s Forces. Dinosaurs. If the USAF wants a modern tanker, it must be based on the 787. Or they should just make a stopgap decision and look for an interim solution.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:14 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 152):
I expected this from a "patriotic" court.

This was not a court. Think of it as a government-owned auditing firm beholden only to Congress.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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astuteman
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:28 pm



Quoting Curt22 (Reply 79):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 68):
In the past many military planes were private ventures by manufacturers with the prototypes fully funded from their own means. It is to the advantage of any Government to have the opportunity to view the finished article without having to pay for it. As long as the US taxpayer isn't having to pay for these, whats the problem ?

I wish we saw more of this today...very tired of seeing the taxpayers get screwed coming and going

And seeing this mess today, would any sane citizen invest any of their private money into a defence procurement activity???  no 

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 116):
In the case that the EU disapproved of something that the US was doing with its military, it is entirely possible that they would embargo spare parts (or further deliveries of aircraft) for the tankers.

Don't even go there... There are far too many interdependencies today to make that even remotely likely..

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 127):
this is a total red herring,

 checkmark 

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 33):
The competition is bogus. You have two different planes. The AF knows the capabilities of each, so the plane that wins will be the one they write the requirements to match.

My money will be on this being the outcome......  yes 

Rgds
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:44 pm



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 154):
My money will be on this being the outcome......

This is why I believe USAF needs to engage in a short-term interim solution (perhaps re-engining KC-135s?) and then give all parties the chance to bid fresh purpose-built airframes.
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NYC777
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:53 pm

Well how about a KC-787 option. I wrote an article on my blog discussing the pros and cons of doing a KC-787. There would be a huge benefit of Boeing doing a KC-787.

http://nyc787.blogspot.com/2008/06/kc-787-pros-and-cons.html
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:58 pm

Government Upholds Boeing's Protest Over Air Force Contract



http://www.wsfa.com/global/story.asp?s=8522405
 
redflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:09 pm

Quoting NA (Reply 152):
That 767s are already being scrapped by airlines as they´re getting old

Are the airframes being scrapped because the design is old or because certain airframes have reached the end of their service life?

Quoting NA (Reply 152):
and is generally an aircraft design from the last millenium

So is the A330. It was conceived in 1987, which was also in the last millenium.

Quoting NA (Reply 152):
I predict that under the expected further development of the fuel market 767 tankers will be uneconomical before 2030

The current fuel market would also make by 2030 every other other airplane model that is currently flying, with the exception of, perhaps, the A380, also uneconomical.

And in other news, the famous Loren Thompson, which so many Airbus proponents were fond of quoting back on February 29, has spoken:

Quote:
The ruling also raises questions about procedures at the Air Force, said analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Virginia-based policy research group.

''The GAO has identified so many mistakes by the Air Force that it calls into question the credibility of their process for picking weapons systems,'' Thompson said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a.psvGNv813I

But, as usual, he seems to be only repeating what has already been stated by some A.Netters.

[Edited 2008-06-19 11:10:45]
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osiris30
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:29 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 149):

The competation between the KC767 and KC30 is not a close draw. It simply isn't.

Keesje: You are missing the point here. You're saying the competition isn't even close, yet you are failing to define the terms of the competition. Under the WRITTEN terms of the request for proposal the Airforce asked for frames that could meet certain requirements. Again in said written RFP, the Airforce stated that no credit was to be given for exceeding the requirements. This was done so that there would be no 'funny' business by rating the excess capacity (it eliminates, for example, needing to evalute the trade off in fuel burn for additional cargo capacity, etc.).

The NG/EADS entry won the competition due in large part (based on what the GAO has said) on the Airforce given them credit for something they said they would not consider in their decision making. They (the Airforce) wrote the rules themselves and then broke them. Hence Boeing has every right to be pissed off. It doesn't matter if the NG/EADS is a better tanker on the whole.. the question is, what is the mission profile for the Airforce.. it is entirely possible that a smaller tanker is a better fit for them. Based on the RFP that's what Boeing concluded. Based on the RFP Boeing may or may not have bid their most compelling offer. Based on the way the Airforce handled the RFP they may not have selected the best tanker available, as they didn't see all the relevant bids (as certain options weren't bid, due to an RFP that said they would be less favorable)...

Imagine I ask you and someone else to bid on building boxes for me. In the request for your bids I tell you that color is unimportant, and will not be considered. You offer to sell me unbleached paper boxes due to the lower cost of production, and your competitor offers white bleached boxes. Both boxes can carry *enough* material internally, have the appropriate strength and are priced reasonably. Yet I select the other guy's boxes because I like the color better. Wouldn't you be pissed off?
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FlyUSCG
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:53 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 152):
How can you buy a product almost 30 years old, when you expect it to work until 2050 and longer.

You Europeans seem to be really hung up on this illusion of an old plane. IT DOESN'T EXIST! The Air Force is not going out to Marana and Victorville and buying the old retired 767's that were built 20 years ago. They would be getting BRAND SPANKING NEW airplanes that would most likely last into the 2080's. You guys seriously need to drop that argument as it just shows your inability to put together a strong argument. The Air Force wanted a KC-135 replacement, the best solution to that is the KC-767. If they wanted a KC-10 replacement, they should have spelled that out with no ambiguity and then perhaps the KC-30 would have been the better platform, but thats not what happened.
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:02 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 152):
That 767s are already being scrapped by airlines as they´re getting old, the 762 being obsolete anyway, and is generally an aircraft design from the last millenium, developed around 1980 when "Dallas" was the hottest show on TV would make it look even more stupid and backwards orientated under the current fuelprice explosion scenario if in the end Boeing would get that contract with such an old product.

The trick is, the KC-767 Advanced is not a 767-200, especially not a 767-200 built in 1980. It uses structures from the 767-300 and 767-400 families along with modern flight-deck electronics and systems. It draws from almost thirty years of knowledge and advances incorporated into the 767 design since it was first launched.




I just checked spot rental rates for the 767-300ER and they range from a high of $750,000 a month for a unit delivered in 1992 to a low of $361,000 for a unit delivered in 1988. That was 777-200ER money just twelve months ago (and yes, values for most current Boeing and Airbus families have risen sharply). I'm pretty sure lessors aren't going to be sending those birds to the desert when they're pulling in that kind of cashflow.
 
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:32 pm



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 160):
You Europeans

Please, some Europeans.  smile 
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Flighty
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:40 pm



Quoting Sxf24 (Reply 139):
If the A330 is the perfect compromise, the USAF should have issued an RFP with minimum size parameters.

Why?

What's important here? A puppet show, or the best jet to fight a war?

Why spell everything out in writing? It's false precision. Just because something is in writing, does not mean it is important, nor relevant. Airbus won because they had the superior warfighter. And we argue about the size & shape of the conference table.... who cares about the RFP? How could any RFP be perfect?

Would an airline's purchasing conduct stand up to this sort of scrutiny? Would other procurements in the US Military? Of course not. Nothing is perfectly fair to all concerned. NOR SHOULD IT BE. Boeing is not the master, it is the obedient vendor. How dare it start taking control of the United States government. Disgusting. It's like a Terminator movie.
 
Curt22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:42 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 112):
Can someone explain to me why the USAF had this unfair preference? Error or intention?
- If error it could be that they tried so strong not to prefer Boeing that they ended like this
- If intention you can say they really wanted the KC-45

Excellent questions, not so easy to answer...perhaps the USAF was still suffering from being "snake bit" in the first tanker fiasco and was blinded by this pain and suffering to the point they were unaware they were stacking the deck against BA in order to prove they would not give BA an unfair advantage?

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 115):
Well, personally I admit I am disappointed with the outcome of the GAO ruling. I always have favoured the better plane and I still do.

"The better plane"...based upon what form of measurement?

I drive a big pick up truck with a 5/7L V-8 engine...it will tow 5000 kilo's, seats 6, has four doors etc and of course, gets horrible gas milage. I think most would disagree with the idea that my truck "better" than another vehicle simply because it is bigger and can carry more cargo.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 124):
The GAO is a pretty impartial group, so that they ruled so strongly does indeed pretty much force the USAF to rebid.

Impartial??? Well, seem to be impartial towards the vendors, finding in favor of Boeing here, but against them in CSAR-X...in each case, it is the USAF that GAO finds fault with, and maybe the change of leadership for the USAF will help to change the culture that seems to be poisoning many wells these days.
 
MOBflyer
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:49 pm



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 116):
Nobody who has any knowledge of the facts has denied the fact that the Boeing plane would result in more American jobs than the NG plane.

I don't know why you don't think I have any knowledge of the facts.

NG says its proposal would create or support 48,000 US jobs in 49 states, while Booing says 44,000 for its offering.

I'll be the first to say that those are both likely gross exaggerations, and they likely would support or create just about the same amount of American jobs.
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:54 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 162):
Please, some Europeans.

That is true, I'll give you that much  Smile
Go Trojans! Fight On!
 
sxf24
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:54 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 163):
Why?

What's important here? A puppet show, or the best jet to fight a war?

Why spell everything out in writing? It's false precision. Just because something is in writing, does not mean it is important, nor relevant. Airbus won because they had the superior warfighter. And we argue about the size & shape of the conference table.... who cares about the RFP? How could any RFP be perfect?

Would an airline's purchasing conduct stand up to this sort of scrutiny? Would other procurements in the US Military? Of course not. Nothing is perfectly fair to all concerned. NOR SHOULD IT BE. Boeing is not the master, it is the obedient vendor. How dare it start taking control of the United States government. Disgusting. It's like a Terminator movie.

Why spell everything out in writing? Because that is the best way to ensure a fair and equatable procurement process.

If the USAF wanted a larger aircraft, they should have requested such. Maybe Boeing would have altered their proposal to fit a different criteria.

Airline procurements are private business decisions, unencumbered by a responsibility to tax payers. The USAF has a responsibility to procure the most appropriate product for the best price. It appears the KC-767 meets the required criteria at a lower price. If that is truly the case, why didn't the USAF buy it? If they are really looking for a larger aircraft, they should have asked for that.

If you think Boeing has taken control of the US government, you're an idiot. The dramatics are absurd and destroy your credibility.
 
agill
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:55 pm



Quoting Sxf24 (Reply 167):


Why spell everything out in writing? Because that is the best way to ensure a fair and equatable procurement process.

I just can't imagine how it'll be possible to set up criteria that doesn't give one or the other plane an unfair advantage since the planes are quite different in capabilities.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:39 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 152):
The decision about what to decide for must reflect a 40 year service life, otherwise it doesn´t make sense. Remember that some KC-135s are 50 years old already, and the KC-10 past 20 now. How can you buy a product almost 30 years old, when you expect it to work until 2050 and longer. This is not said to lobby the A330 in the first place, but to buy and rely on such an old type as the 767 sounds ridiculous for me. Even the A330 is getting old, but at least its a full decade fresher.

This is a nonsensical argument. The lifetime of the aircraft is going to be determined by how much it is used and how many cycles it can tolerate, not when it was designed. The reason why the KC-135 and KC-10 have flown so long is because they aren't heavily utilized. You don't want to wear out your more expensive, specialty aircraft that you count on having ready and available during an emergency situation. That's is one reason why making the cargo mission a bigger part of the tanker's role is a mistake because it leads to a shorter lifetime and wastage of the money spent on the tanker specific capabilities.

Quote:
That 767s are already being scrapped by airlines as they´re getting old, the 762 being obsolete anyway, and is generally an aircraft design from the last millenium, developed around 1980 when "Dallas" was the hottest show on TV would make it look even more stupid and backwards orientated under the current fuelprice explosion scenario if in the end Boeing would get that contract with such an old product. I predict that under the expected further development of the fuel market 767 tankers will be uneconomical before 2030, even for the Nation´s Forces. Dinosaurs. If the USAF wants a modern tanker, it must be based on the 787. Or they should just make a stopgap decision and look for an interim solution.

The 767s are getting scrapped because mostly because the airframes have been heavily used. While newer aircraft are more attractive to airlines, it is not simply because they are more fuel efficient. Commercial aircraft have other improvements that are of use to commercial airlines, such as improved passenger amenities, that are obviously irrelevant to the military. And even in the case where the A332 is relatively more efficient on a size adjusted basis, it is not more efficient on an absolute basis, meaning most missions on the A332 based tanker will waste more fuel.

Quoting Curt22 (Reply 164):
Excellent questions, not so easy to answer...perhaps the USAF was still suffering from being "snake bit" in the first tanker fiasco and was blinded by this pain and suffering to the point they were unaware they were stacking the deck against BA in order to prove they would not give BA an unfair advantage?

Or maybe some AF personnel took advantage of the situation to push the competition in NG/EADS favor.
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:19 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 165):
Flighty

ouch..

I agree.

The best won and folks that useally promote free market, no nonsense and "bang for the bucks" are suddenly hanging on bureaucratic details, patriotic sentiments and using political agenda's.

A sad show.

 Wink
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:31 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 170):
The best won and folks that useally promote free market, no nonsense and "bang for the bucks" are suddenly hanging on bureaucratic details, patriotic sentiments and using political agenda's.

You sound like someone who just got dumped by their (girl|boy)friend. Why don't you wait to see what comes of it? You know, multiple people have explained to you that this whole thing was in no way a knock against your favored platform and yet you still persist taking it personally.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:40 pm



Quoting NYC777 (Reply 156):
Well how about a KC-787 option. I wrote an article on my blog discussing the pros and cons of doing a KC-787. There would be a huge benefit of Boeing doing a KC-787.

The way this procurement exercise is going, Airbus will be offering the A350XWB, unless its obsolete by the time the whole mess is sorted out
 Big grin
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:33 pm



Quoting Columbia107 (Reply 85):
John McCain only wanted to see a fair competition.



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 125):
What about Boeing's foreign suppliers? Doesn't the same risk apply?

Boeing in this case appears to own everything airframe wise and just subcontracts the production. The 787 would be different since many of the detailed designs for components are owned by the subcontractors. Now I bet there is plenty of legalese thrown in the contracts that say Boeing can get new subcontractors or bring it in house if a supplier drops the ball for whatever reason. That said if someone stopped shipping certain KC30 parts, the USAF would simply find someone local to "photocopy" it and start supply. Its hard to argue infringement when you prove your unwillingness/inability to produce that part.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 163):
Airbus won because they had the superior warfighter

GAO quite clearly has shown it won because the USAF cooked the bidding process. Doesn't mean it won't win if the USAF does what it said it would do and offer a fair competition, but THIS TIME its clear that it ONLY won because the USAF made sure it would win.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-

Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:40 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 163):
Airbus won because they had the superior warfighter.

By what measure? The Flighty Scale?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 163):
And we argue about the size & shape of the conference table

In this case, we're arguing about the size and shape of the ramp, taxiways, runways and hangars.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 170):
The best won and folks that useally promote free market, no nonsense and "bang for the bucks" are suddenly hanging on bureaucratic details, patriotic sentiments and using political agenda's.

You did read the GAO press release saying that the USAF calculated the "bangs" and "bucks" part incorrectly, right? Based on that, your statement is a non-starter.

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 156):
Well how about a KC-787 option. I wrote an article on my blog discussing the pros and cons of doing a KC-787. There would be a huge benefit of Boeing doing a KC-787.

http://nyc787.blogspot.com/2008/06/k....html

You make some good points about the need to go from the current 787 to a "787F" equivalent in order to end up with a good tanker. Pulling that off in an acceptable timeframe may not be feasible, but one can still hope Boeing can recreate the spirit of innovation they had during the KC135 days.
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PC12Fan
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:41 pm

Am I the only one thinking Boeing is dusting off the folding wing design just in case?  scratchchin 
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:09 pm

I just cannot see Boeing offer the 777 Freighter for the KC-45A RFP.

If they're smart, they'll spend some time and refine the KC-767 Advanced proposal to make it a more well-rounded and effective platform. Boeing already offered a lower overall price and I expect a 767-300F/767-400ER hybrid will be even more cost-effective then the "Frankenplane" they offered last time.
 
sxf24
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:14 pm



Quoting Agill (Reply 168):
I just can't imagine how it'll be possible to set up criteria that doesn't give one or the other plane an unfair advantage since the planes are quite different in capabilities.

It is not about making the criteria equal for each bidder, but rather clearly laying out the desired requirements. If a KC-30 sized tanker is what the USAF needs, it should solicit bids for that sized aircraft and Boeing should have the opportunity to try to compete.

The USAF solicited bids for a tanker that met (not exceeded) the capabilities of the KC-135. If they needed/wanted something bigger, THEY SHOULD HAVE ASKED FOR IT.
 
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:20 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 174):
You make some good points about the need to go from the current 787 to a "787F" equivalent in order to end up with a good tanker. Pulling that off in an acceptable timeframe may not be feasible, but one can still hope Boeing can recreate the spirit of innovation they had during the KC135 days.

I agree that if Boeing were to offer a KC-787 it would need a ton of resources but they can have a winner on its hands. It might be a great candidate for the KC-Y.
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B777fan
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:46 pm



Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 169):



Quoting Agill (Reply 168):
I just can't imagine how it'll be possible to set up criteria that doesn't give one or the other plane an unfair advantage since the planes are quite different in capabilities.

You hit the nail on the head. That's why NG threatened to pull out of the bidding last November. As specified then, they couldn't win. The Air Force seems to have tried to finesse Boeing and keep NG in the game by 'interpreting' the terms and costs - a legal no no.

The NG/EADS product is a fine one. Keesje chart shows it clearly. Unfortunately for Keesje apparently, on his chart you could draw a line for what the RFP called for and the 767 line would completely encompass it at a lower cost. If the RFP line was drawn elsewhere - as it should have been if that's what the Air Force wanted - then Boeing would have screamed that they couldn't win.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:57 am

Quoting Agill (Reply 168):
I just can't imagine how it'll be possible to set up criteria that doesn't give one or the other plane an unfair advantage since the planes are quite different in capabilities.

The KC-30A appears to meet all the requirements of the RFP and exceeded many of them. However, that extra performance and capability costs more, both to initially acquire and to operate over the life of the airframe (which will be decades, if not scores, of years).

As someone noted up-thread, most DOD awards are given to the lowest bidder who meets the minimum requirements.

As such, even though the KC-30A does more then the KC-767 Advanced, the fact is the KC-767 Advanced still meets all of the RFP requirements and does so at a lower cost. As such, it should have won the RFP as defined.

That the USAF was willing to adjust the RFP criteria to ensure the KC-30A the win should be seen as a compliment to the KC-30A. It proves the argument put forward by supporters that it is the better plane, even if it is the more expensive option. However, many of those same people castigated the USAF and Boeing for doing the same thing (to a more extreme level) in awarding the original KC-45A lease deal to Boeing. What goes around tends to sometimes come around.

Unfortunately, I don't see how NG and EADS can legally get the price of the KC-30A down to a level it would come in cheaper then Boeing's offer. I would like to think that Boeing improving their product to a 767-300F/767-400 hybrid would make the price even cheaper since there would be less design work and less risk to bring to market, while presenting a product superior in performance to the KC-767 Advanced. It won't be as good as the KC-30A, but it will be better then the KC-767 Advanced. And I expect the civilian version will be a superior performer to the 767-200LRF, which would help fill out the line when a KC-45A is not in production.

Fortunately, unlike an NG/EADS win, a Boeing win is not a guaranteed NG/EADS loss. The USAF is strongly interested in the KC-30A platform, so I believe there is a solid foundation for a separate KC-30A order down the road, especially should EADS start building A330-200Fs in Mobile, which will negate the "made in France" argument a great deal since NG and EADS will be able to show how many US jobs are currently building A330-200Fs and would therefore also be building KC-30As.

It would be more economical to operate the KC-30A then the KC-10A Extender and a mixed fleet of say 200 KC-45As and 50 KC-30As would offer the USAF one heck of a tanker and freighter force.

[Edited 2008-06-19 17:58:17]
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:27 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 173):
The 787 would be different since many of the detailed designs for components are owned by the subcontractors.

I highly doubt this is the case for airframe components. Avionics, yes, engines, yes...but are you seriously going to tell me that if Boeing has a (more serious) falling out with Alenia, that they would have no choice but to deal with them? Boeing has to have protection here.
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TropicBird
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:48 am

Review this well thought out piece on where this contract may go. The general consensus is that this an entire re-compete - but as the article points out - that may not have to happen.

http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2008/06/tanker-contract.html
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:35 am



Quoting N328KF (Reply 181):
I highly doubt this is the case for airframe components. Avionics, yes, engines, yes...but are you seriously going to tell me that if Boeing has a (more serious) falling out with Alenia, that they would have no choice but to deal with them? Boeing has to have protection here.

I think I covered it later that while Boeing currently does NOT own the detailed designs for parts of the 787, I am sure that they have it covered in the contracts that they could source the parts elsewhere if a supplier fails to meet expectations. It still makes the 787 far less "certain" for military use compared to the 767 as the lead time for copy/redesign and new production in the case of a sudden stoppage is a real factor. *today* the KC30 is between the two as one assumes that canibalization of civilian A330 would assist the MX needs of the KC30 in the short term if it came down to it.
 
blackknight
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:47 am

Initial feedback that I am getting:

1-tRFP was for:
a.tA replacement for the KC-135
i.tA new plane that would fit into all current facilities including maintenance facilities.
ii.tOperate from the same bases the KC-135 operates from.
iii.tRefuel all current aircraft in the fleet in addition to a list of planned aircraft that should enter within 20 years.
iv.tThe replacement aircraft would have to be more able to survive on the battle front.
v.tThe replacement aircraft would have to have a list of defensive countermeasures.
2-tInitial estimates to make ready all facilities (that currently use the KC-135) for a larger aircraft than would fit into the KC-135 box are above 100 billion.
3-tThe amount of defensive countermeasures to mask the larger size of the Airbus proposal was not included and thus the weight penalty for such additional equipment was not adjusted.
a.tNote: the radar signature of the larger plane is an issue for all those whom understand.
4-tThe Airbus proposal banked upon using different facilities than are currently used by the KC-135 for operation and maintenance. Such as C-5, C-17, etc. This does not take into account the political environment of such switches and base closures.

In short if the RFP is for a KC-135 replacement aircraft, a proposal for an aircraft that was larger than the KC-135 box area would have to take in account the 100 billion facility upgrade cost which was listed as part of the RFP. In other words the larger aircraft provider would have to give them away for free and then pay additional fees for facility upgrades to match a proposal for an aircraft that fit inside the KC-135 box if the upgrade cost really is above 100 billion dollars.


This does not even take into account aircraft performance, radar signature, defensive countermeasures, and the political fallout of moving military base work loads.


I can clearly see why there is an issue. These 2 planes are as different as night and day as compared in military needs. What remains to be seen is if the RFP will be adjusted.
BK
 
KennyK
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:54 am

Boeing developed the KC-135 in parallel with the 707 so why not develop a KC787 now. Based on the 787-8 it would be bigger than the 767 but about the same size as the A330, maybe a little smaller but would be a generation younger. Given some time to develop I think this aircraft would be ideal and would be available only a few years later than either the A330 or 767.

Boeing could even shorten the fuselage a bit as was done with the KC-135 compared to the 707 if the requirement is for tanking more than cargo and maybe adopt the 787-3 wing to lighten the load and cut the wingspan. You would also have an aircraft that would not be looking obsolescence in the face for another 40 years or more.
 
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:02 am



Quoting B777fan (Reply 179):
Unfortunately for Keesje apparently, on his chart you could draw a line for what the RFP called for and the 767 line would completely encompass it at a lower cost. If the RFP line was drawn elsewhere - as it should have been if that's what the Air Force wanted - then Boeing would have screamed that they couldn't win.

Interesting way of looking at it.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 180):
Unfortunately, I don't see how NG and EADS can legally get the price of the KC-30A down to a level it would come in cheaper then Boeing's offer. I would like to think that Boeing improving their product to a 767-300F/767-400 hybrid would make the price even cheaper since there would be less design work and less risk to bring to market, while presenting a product superior in performance to the KC-767 Advanced. It won't be as good as the KC-30A, but it will be better then the KC-767 Advanced. And I expect the civilian version will be a superior performer to the 767-200LRF, which would help fill out the line when a KC-45A is not in production.

While I agree there would be obvious advantages a renewed KC767 would also have disadvantages, additional investements, the aircraft doesn't exist. E.g. first boom prototype has yet to be build. The new aircraft would take time to design, build test and certify with all the risks of that.

The KC30 is being build / flown / tested as we speak and major parts of the KC30 would come form a steaming production line building 9-10 a month : economies of scale.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
PolymerPlane
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:23 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 186):
E.g. first boom prototype has yet to be build. The new aircraft would take time to design, build test and certify with all the risks of that.

The risk has been taken into account by air force's calculation. That's mainly why the purchase price of the KC-767 is higher than the KC-30. Boeing actually raised that point.

KC-30 is being build, but the actual final assembly line hasn't even seen any concrete poured.

Cheers,
PP
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:49 am



Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 187):
KC-30 is being build, but the actual final assembly line hasn't even seen any concrete poured.

I think there are fall back scenarios. The other KC30 been ordered will be build to, as well as A330F's. Airbus' own conversion center in germany is more then willing. However I think they prefer a dollar economy..

Quoting BlackKnight (Reply 184):
Initial feedback that I am getting:

Interesting, who's feed back is this? It seems more in line with Boeing campaign of the last few years then with the RFP.

Quoting KennyK (Reply 185):
Based on the 787-8 it would be bigger than the 767 but about the same size as the A330, maybe a little smaller but would be a generation younger. Given some time to develop I think this aircraft would be ideal and would be available only a few years later than either the A330 or 767.

Boeing could even shorten the fuselage a bit as was done with the KC-135 compared to the 707 if the requirement is for tanking more than cargo and maybe adopt the 787-3 wing to lighten the load and cut the wingspan. You would also have an aircraft that would not be looking obsolescence in the face for another 40 years or more.

That would be everybodies (except NG/EADS) favorite option I guess. Right sized and ready for the next 30 years instead of the past 30 years.. I guess Boering could offer it but they are still busy getting the 787 right, satisfying a few dozen claiming customers & resources seem fully occupied for the next few years.. http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/dreamliner-1.jpg

I think a KC787 could be available after 2016, maybe in combination with short term 60 ship KC30 fleet spread around the globe flown intensively for 10 years to relief the KC135 / C17 fleets. (A330s can do 3000-4000 hrs/ year reliable ) They could sell them as freighters as KC787s become available.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
blackknight
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:28 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 188):
Interesting, who's feed back is this? It seems more in line with Boeing campaign of the last few years then with the RFP.

Keesje please do not play the stupid card. You are well respected as being informed. While you are an Airbus salesman you still have enough information to already know the information provided.

If you insist on playing the stupid card item 6 in the GAO report will help you

6. The Air Force's evaluation of military construction costs in calculating the offerors' most probable life cycle costs for their proposed aircraft was unreasonable, where the agency during the protest conceded that it made a number of errors in evaluation that, when corrected, result in Boeing displacing Northrop Grumman as the offeror with the lowest most probable life cycle cost; where the evaluation did not account for the offerors' specific proposals; and where the calculation of military construction costs based on a notional (hypothetical) plan was not reasonably supported.

Item 5 shows the Airbus proposal tried to skip the problematic issue all together.

5. The Air Force unreasonably determined that Northrop Grumman's refusal to agree to a specific solicitation requirement that it plan and support the agency to achieve initial organic depot-level maintenance within two years after delivery of the first full-rate production aircraft was an "administrative oversight," and improperly made award, despite this clear exception to a material solicitation requirement.

Ignoring the facts does not make them go away. If I own a 1.5 meter by 2 meter garage and am in the market for new transportation, I will not be looking at a 15 passenger van even though they are less expensive to operate per passenger. The cost of a new garage out ways any benifit the 15 passenger van may provide.

The KC-30 may be a more capable platform in the air. Sadly when it lands it will be left out in the cold within the current US Airforce system. The billions it will take to eliminate that issue will not be overcome unless they are ignored.

[Edited 2008-06-20 03:00:01]
BK
 
NAV20
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:21 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 188):
I think there are fall back scenarios.

They must be pretty quick-thinking, then  :-

"But several minutes after I received notification Wednesday morning of the GAO’s ruling, I got an e-mail from Northrop Grumman with details for the groundbreaking ceremony for its tanker facility in Alabama. I suppose they had sent it as a show of how confident Northrop was in its win.

"The defense contractor previously had scheduled the groundbreaking despite Boeing’s protest.

"Today, Northrop has deferred the event, scheduled for June 28."


http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080619/BLOG01/78663425/1005/BIZ

Given their contacts in high places I'm frankly surprised that Northrop/EADS didn't pick up some warning of the way the wind was blowing.

Speaking of which, the evidence is mounting that this issue could very well be 'front and centre' in the Presidential Election Campaign:-

"The GAO didn't mention politics, but the sweeping problems identified by the oversight group are sure to make the report a touchstone for Sen. McCain's critics. The Democrats contend Sen. McCain pressured the Air Force to favor Northrop and EADS.

"Senator McCain helped steer a tanker contract to a European company for which seven of his campaign advisors and fundraisers then lobbied -- a bidding process the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, is now saying was full of errors," the Democratic National Committee said Thursday."


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1213...8211689775.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I said before the GAO issued its report that I did not expect this issue to be settled until after the next president is sworn in in January. That remains my opinion.

[Edited 2008-06-20 03:22:17]
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SEPilot
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:32 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 118):
Then you must firmly close your eyes the for the enormous amounts of weapons that have been and are exported from the US to Europe for decades.

That's Europe's problem. I am a US citizen and concerned primarily about US security. If they want to buy our weapons I am happy to sell them to them. If they prefer to build their own I fully understand.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 125):
What about Boeing's foreign suppliers? Doesn't the same risk apply?

No, it doesn't. Boeing owns the rights to the designs; if they subcontract they always have the right to change suppliers.

Quoting Curt22 (Reply 164):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 112):
Can someone explain to me why the USAF had this unfair preference? Error or intention?
- If error it could be that they tried so strong not to prefer Boeing that they ended like this
- If intention you can say they really wanted the KC-45

Excellent questions, not so easy to answer...perhaps the USAF was still suffering from being "snake bit" in the first tanker fiasco and was blinded by this pain and suffering to the point they were unaware they were stacking the deck against BA in order to prove they would not give BA an unfair advantage?

I think that sums up the situation pretty accurately.

Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 165):
I don't know why you don't think I have any knowledge of the facts.

NG says its proposal would create or support 48,000 US jobs in 49 states, while Booing says 44,000 for its offering.

Sorry if I offended you; but most of the reports I have read (including some from NG) have acknowledged that Boeing would generate more US jobs. This is the first claim I have seen that NG would generate more US jobs.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 172):
The way this procurement exercise is going, Airbus will be offering the A350XWB, unless its obsolete by the time the whole mess is sorted out

You may well be right.

Quoting B777fan (Reply 179):
The NG/EADS product is a fine one. Keesje chart shows it clearly. Unfortunately for Keesje apparently, on his chart you could draw a line for what the RFP called for and the 767 line would completely encompass it at a lower cost. If the RFP line was drawn elsewhere - as it should have been if that's what the Air Force wanted - then Boeing would have screamed that they couldn't win.

This is the fundamental problem. In the past the AF would dream up specifications from blank paper, and the airframe manufacturers would start from the same. This time they are looking at existing airframes with the complication that they already have facilities designed around an airframe for which there is no direct replacement in production. As it is, the 767 will fit where the KC-135 did but the A330 won't. This makes the 767 the logical and obvious replacement, regardless of any other advantages that the A330 may have, and no amount of creative logic is going to change that particular fact. Redoing all of the KC-135 facilities to accommodate the A330 is going to be FAR more expensive than any savings that any superior operating economics, and even if they sold the planes for half the cost of the 767 it would probably be cheaper to get the 767. No matter how the Airbus supporters try and twist it this loads the dice so far in Boeing's favor that the only way for Airbus to win it is to design a new airframe to fit the size parameters, which is out of the question at this point.
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:32 am



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 191):
Quoting Keesje (Reply 118):
Then you must firmly close your eyes the for the enormous amounts of weapons that have been and are exported from the US to Europe for decades.

That's Europe's problem. I am a US citizen and concerned primarily about US security.

You see europe loyalty as an issue. Would you consider yourself as a loyal ally or more the isolationist type? Business wise: If Boeing didn't export to Europe the damage would be much bigger then any tanker deal..

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 191):
As it is, the 767 will fit where the KC-135 did but the A330 won't

The 767 is significantly wider then the KC135. And more importantly : higher. How come you are so sure this can't be a problem?



The KC-30 is to big has been Boeings (unsupported by USAF) mantra for years.

however:
1. the USAF never required anything on dimensions
2. if the kc-767 gets reality, no doubt -400 wing tips will be added to improve performance, miraculously solving the size problem
3. few facilities are dedicated build around KC135 dimensions. They can handle C5, C17, KC10, B52, B1, B2 and did support a string of now defunct types C141.
4. New tankers would require a fraction of the maintenance neccesary to keep the current KC135s flying, creating empty hangars rather then stuffed ones.. (base maintenance interval 20.000-30.000 hours)..

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Curt22
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:53 am



Quoting BlackKnight (Reply 189):
Item 5 shows the Airbus proposal tried to skip the problematic issue all together.

5. The Air Force unreasonably determined that Northrop Grumman's refusal to agree to a specific solicitation requirement that it plan and support the agency to achieve initial organic depot-level maintenance within two years after delivery of the first full-rate production aircraft was an "administrative oversight," and improperly made award, despite this clear exception to a material solicitation requirement.

Item #5 is worded dangerous close to saying NG was unresponsive (fancy Acq word meaning didn't meet requirement)...when a contender is deemed unresponsive (NG refusal to agree to the requirement of O-D level Mx w/in 2 years), they can be dismissed from the competition, do not pass go, do not collected a hundred billion dollar contract!
 
sxf24
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:44 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 183):
I think I covered it later that while Boeing currently does NOT own the detailed designs for parts of the 787, I am sure that they have it covered in the contracts that they could source the parts elsewhere if a supplier fails to meet expectations.

OEMs rarely own detailed designs for all aircraft parts, especially for systems or some complex assemblies.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:32 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 190):
Given their contacts in high places I'm frankly surprised that Northrop/EADS didn't pick up some warning of the way the wind was blowing

Hopefully that says something about the GAO keeping in mind its mission, to take care of the US pocketbook, not special interests. One can hope anyway.
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keesje
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:15 pm

Who were the members of this GAO?
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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N328KF
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:21 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 196):
Who were the members of this GAO?

It's thousands of nameless, faceless auditors. You understand that the GAO is a standing organization and was not set up just to diss your pet project, right?
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
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drexotica
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:11 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 196):
Who were the members of this GAO?

With 15 seconds of browsing, you could have found the answer at the GAO site.

http://www.gao.gov/about/index.html

[Edited 2008-06-20 09:12:17]
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pygmalion
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RE: Breaking: GAO Sustains Boeing's Protest Of KC-X

Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:12 pm

Keesje,

GAO, also called the Government Accountability Office

See http://www.gao.gov/about/index.html


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO, the Comptroller General of the United States, is appointed to a 15-year term by the President from a slate of candidates Congress proposes.

Our Mission is to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.

Our Core Values of accountability, integrity, and reliability are reflected in all of the work we do. We operate under strict professional standards of review and referencing; all facts and analyses in our work are thoroughly checked for accuracy.

Our Work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by public laws or committee reports. We also undertake research under the authority of the Comptroller General.

Our work leads to laws and acts that improve government operations, saving the government and taxpayers billions of dollars.

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