|Quoting Par13del (Reply 149):|
Only problem with this is that the same GAO who advised the US Air Force to modify the original RFP to allow NG to compete is also the body who upheld Boeing's protest, why are we blaming Boeing for the GAO ruling against the Air Force, are we saying that Boeing should just accept the loss of a huge contract based on a faulty RFP and go off into the night?
I am not "blaming" any party. Any vendor has every right to protest legitimate points of the process. What I don't like is what I see to be an abuse of the protest process.
My gripe with Boeing's protest, from an outside observers point of view, they seemed to try every angle under the RFP to complain about, the allegedly threw over 110 complaints to the GAO. If they had won, I don't think they would have found any errors in the selection process. Likewise I am sure that the USAF
would have made mistakes when dealing with NG
. But the mistakes made in my view were all "technical" ones, stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, the KC
-30 was always more capable than the KC
I cannot accept that Boeing were totally unsure of the USAF
stance on different aspects of the RFP they protested about until after the decision was made. Boeing should have protested prior to the submission of its initial proposal, or, at the latest, prior to the submission of its Final Proposal Revisions, and within 10 days after it learned how the USAF
was evaluating criteria.
I cannot accept that posters on a.net had a better grasp of the RFP contents than the people at Boeing. I cannot accept that when Boeing was publicly thinking about offering a 777 based tanker, they did not see the additional capability that that frame would have brought to the RFP. Even the newspapers in Seattle summed the differences up in a nice little graphics.
See also http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/286578_air27.html
To me it seems like they were "storing up" points to protest about, which to me seems like an abuse of the process.
All through the RFP process I maintained that in my view the KC
-30 is a more capable tanker than the KC
-767, capabilities were assessable under the RFP. Capability was also the point NG
was driving home with their PR
. Boeing has always maintained in the PR
that the KC
-767 was "right sized", but size was not assessable under the RFP. Boeing was even considering at one stage a 777 bid. It was this public contrast between the two vendors that had me thinking Boeing had totally missed the point of the RFP, why continue to harp on about the size, when no RFP metric assessed size ?
put their best foot forward, they provided the USAF
with their most capable airframe under the RFP, the A310 based tanker would have also exceeded the RFP requirements, but provides less capability than the KC
-30 or KC
Given the minor changes the USAF
made in the latest RFP to comply with the GAO protest findings, to me it seems that the vast majority of the protest was made on "technical" rather than "fundamental" flaws with the RFP process.
While Boeing had every right to protest these "technical" shortcomings in the RFP process, Boeing, and even their strongest cheerleeders on a.net have recognized that the 767-200LRF based tanker is not as capable as the KC
-30 (like NG
has been saying for ages, even with that dreaded spider chart), they have come out and basically said they would win against the KC
-30 using the KC767AT. They now wanted more time to bid with a more capable aircraft.
The protest avenue with the GAO was not designed for that, I think that is what people are blaming Boeing for. Boeing did not need more time to submit a response to the draft changes made after the GAO protest, the USAF
already found the KC
-767AT met all the mandatory requirements to their satisfaction. They would have lost out as the KC
-767AT was less capable, and provided less value for money to the USAF
Boeing should have presented their best candidate aircraft from day 1, their most competitive bid. It now appears that Boeing did not submit their most competitive aircraft, with any competition, when you don't put your best foot forward, you got to accept the possibility that you may not come out as the winner.
Sure complain to the umpire when the process is flawed, but don't complain or "invent" situations when you did not put your best candidate forward in a competitive selection process.