backtop


Print 43 comment(s) - last by MCKENZIE1130.. on Nov 29 at 8:11 PM


Boeing NewGen tanker

EADS tanker

Because sometimes one facepalm isn't enough.
Letters sent to the wrong companies by mistake

The long running contest to find a replacement for the Air Force's fleet of tanker aircraft used to refuel aircraft has hit another snag. The latest gaffe happened in the bidding contest that has resulted in each of the participating bidders inadvertently being sent information on the competitors offering by the Air Force.

The Air Force accidentally sent letters to Boeing and EADS that were meant to go to the other company. The letters each company received were the Integrated fleet Aerial Refueling Assessments (IFARA) the Air Force prepared on the bidding aircraft.

Air Force spokesman Col. Les Kodlick said, "Earlier this month, there was a clerical error that resulted in limited amounts of identical source-selection information being provided to both KC-X offerors concerning their competitor's offer. Both offerors immediately recognized the error and contacted the Air Force contracting officers."

The IFARA letter is something that the Air Force prepares that outlines scenarios to determine how many of the tankers will be needed. The assessment takes into consideration fuel and construction costs reports Defense News. The IFARA is considered the biggest risk factor in the tanker bidding program.

The Air Force says that the error will not delay the bidding process and that it is taking action to ensure than an error like this is not repeated. Both Boeing and EADS offered no official comment on the errors. Executives from both aircraft companies did say that in a situation like that the only ethical thing to do was to not review the documents.

Defense News quotes on unnamed exec stating, "That kind of stuff can easily be tracked, so everyone knows you don't mess around."

Kodlick said, "The KC-X source selection will continue. This incident will not impact our schedule for source selection. However, certain aspects of the source selection have taken slightly longer than originally anticipated, and we currently expect the award to occur early next year."

It's still not clear if the error will affect the contest, despite the Air Force saying the process will not be delayed. However, if the Air Force requests another bid from the companies, the error could affect the process according to some familiar with the situation.

"We have to see whether the exchange of the data affects the competition, especially if the next round will be the best-and-final bids. Then it might be of some value to have the other person's information," said Jacques Gansler, a former Pentagon acquisition chief who teaches public policy at the University of Maryland.

This is the latest issue in the problem prone bidding process. Boeing submitted its NewGen tanker proposal to the Air Force in July 2010. EADS came back to the bidding process with a new U.S. partner in June 2010 after dropping out when Northrop-Grumman pulled out of the bidding war.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By ksherman on 11/22/2010 10:37:19 AM , Rating: 3
This process has been such a Charlie Foxtrot it's not even funny.

I still maintain that Boeing should get the contract as they an American company, though EADS has presented a good product and plans for a significant US-soil based manufacturing effort.

[Points to anyone who knows the title reference. Though I'm sure you'll just $GOOG it]




By aromero78 on 11/22/2010 10:39:26 AM , Rating: 2
How much do you think the air force spend to actually mail out the letters? I would put the under/over at 10K, any takers?


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By joedon3 on 11/22/2010 10:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
I think both submissions had good points and the USAF just wanted them in 1 package, so they "accidentally" sent the information to the wrong companies...


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By Mitch101 on 11/22/2010 12:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like is Jim Belushi alive and well working in the Military mail room.

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By The Raven on 11/22/2010 1:47:11 PM , Rating: 3
It was John Belushi.

The judges are deliberating. You get points for referencing him in Animal House and therefore supporting his legacy.
But then you disrespect him by getting his name wrong.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By mitchebk on 11/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By Nfarce on 11/22/2010 4:05:16 PM , Rating: 3
1941 - one of the classics of the 70s. The Japanese trying to get Slim Pickins to take a dump on the submarine and drop that Cracker Jack compass he swallowed - priceless.


By jordanclock on 11/22/2010 4:16:25 PM , Rating: 4
RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By cleco on 11/24/2010 8:48:59 AM , Rating: 1
...really??


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By rudy on 11/22/2010 1:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
This is what I was thinking. The bids are about to get more competitive.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By Calin on 11/23/2010 2:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
And the cost overruns of the programs are just going to get higher


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By jhb116 on 11/22/2010 8:07:52 PM , Rating: 3
Or this is another glaring example of incompetent gov't civilians that should be fired but can't because it takes 2 years of paperwork which just so happens to be the average time a military person is on the job before moving on.......


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By Reclaimer77 on 11/22/2010 10:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah and I love how there are people who still think contractors are the reason military hardware costs so much. Just look at what a, hell I'll say it, cluster fuck the DoD has made of something as simple as a tanker bidding. Let alone a fifth gen fighter.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By MeesterNid on 11/22/2010 10:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
...something as simple as a tanker bidding.


I know, right?!

To do:

1. Pick up milk
2. Get gas
3. Mail off tanker bid
4. Make dinner


By Reclaimer77 on 11/22/2010 11:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
Reading comprehension fail, but points for being witty :)


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By gamerk2 on 11/22/2010 11:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
EADS has a plane that is ready to go. Heaven forbid, they already TESTED the design and demonstrated mid-air refueling.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By DougF on 11/22/2010 11:56:51 AM , Rating: 4
We just won't talk about the size issue, will we? As someone who has participated in "fighter drags" with tankers, it works better with smaller tankers. Larger tankers work great with larger receivers like cargo aircraft, bombers, etc. Smaller tankers, and greater numbers, provide the flexibility the fighter world needs to get planes from place to place. Cycling fighters off of a larger tanker, while technically more efficient, can easily wear out the refueling crew and creates a single failure point issue, as well as limiting the ability for tanker support to drag a fighter with an IFE (in-flight emergency) to an alternate landing site. Smaller tankers can also fit more easily into crowded air bases and more airfields as well. Lastly, I'm trying to remember just how many years EADS has in air-refueling experience compared to Boeing's. It's a fairly small fraction, as I recall. Personally, think the AF should by a mix to get the best of both worlds with some common elements (like booms, probes, baskets, etc), but that may ratchet up the price per aircraft costs beyond acceptable limits.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By marvdmartian on 11/22/2010 3:28:08 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously, how difficult would it be, to buy some of each??

I laughed when I read this line:
quote:
Executives from both aircraft companies did say that in a situation like that the only ethical thing to do was to not review the documents.


Yeah, I'm sure they were entirely ethical, and only copied the documents.....which they would ethically have no problem reading, as they're copies. sheesh!!


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By Danish1 on 11/23/2010 1:46:55 AM , Rating: 2
Corporate executives + ethics does not compute.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By HrilL on 11/22/2010 12:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares. The plane is too big and because of that it has a very limited number of places it can land and take off. This forces the Air Force to have to fly it longer and thus costing more to do the same job. Boeing has the better plane because it can fill more rolls.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By Nfarce on 11/22/2010 3:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
So what? The USAF needs to spend money on American equipment. I have no problem - and support it actually - with American airline companies buying Airbus. Boeing shouldn't have the monopoly on large airliners post McDonald-Douglas (DC-10, MD-11) and Lockheed manufacturing (L-1011) - most of which have long since been scrapped or are in boneyards awaiting their deaths. But the USAF has about as much validity buying an Airbus for a tanker as they do a Eurofighter Typhoon for a fighter.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By cjc1103 on 11/23/2010 8:40:29 AM , Rating: 1
This is a common misconception, because Boeing is an American company, then the planes its builds are US made. Likewise since Airbus is a European consortium, its planes are not US made. In reality airplane manufacturing is a global business these days, Boeing sources components for their 787 aircraft from all over the world, the final assembly takes place in the US. Airbus does the same. For the KC-X competition, the majority of the plane has to be built in the US, so EADS/Airbus plans to build a factory in the US to assemble the aircraft. The fuselage sections will still be made in Europe, but they will be shipped over here for assembly. They will also have to use US subcontractors to supply parts so that the aircraft is more than 50% built in the US. The problem is the subsidies that Airbus gets from the EU to run their business, which could put Boeing at a disadvantage. The larger issue is: the Boeing and Airbus offerings are different aircraft, the Airbus KC-45 is about half again as big as the Boeing KC-767, and costs more. Depending on what missions the Air Force has are what drives the selection. for some missions, the bigger aircraft is more cost effective, in others the smaller aircraft is more cost effective. For some missions like fighter drags, using two smaller tankers would be better than one bigger one. If you need two tankers for redundacy for an important mmission, the bigger tanker will burn more fuel. However on a long mission the bigger tanker may be able to do the mission wheresa it would require two smaller tankers to do the same thing. The bigger aircraft would also be able to carry more cargo. Visit the websites of each manufacturer and you will see a lot of half truths and plain FUD, trying to make their aircraft look better. No matter which aircraft is selected, the loser company will bitch and complain. The KC-45 already won a couple of years ago, then Boeing sued to overturn the bid, and it went back to square one. Give me a break. Maybe we should buy some of each, to better cover different types of missions, but it will undoubtedly cost more to maintain two platforms.


RE: Look, this is utterly ludicrous
By BZDTemp on 11/22/2010 5:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, here in Europe we buy US fighter jets. Maybe we should stick to the local made ones or buy Russian ones to get cheap oil in return - which we could then sell to the US:-)

It's a small world and while I'm all for shopping locally it does not always make sense in the bigger scheme of things.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/24/2010 3:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
The european countries do produce and purchase their own aircraft, they also buy U.S. Aircraft because generally the U.S. Aircraft are superior at time of introduction to other offerings on the market. Nobody smart buys Russian aircraft anymore.


By MCKENZIE1130 on 11/29/2010 8:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
In order to meet Christmas, Some commodities have been, discount .In addition Buy $ 300 and receive a free glasses or a wallet, as a Christmas gift . welcome all friends to order. Reputation, quality, absolute guarantee. please log in: http://www.fashionsb.com . so what, move your mouse .


Pic
By Etern205 on 11/22/2010 11:13:55 AM , Rating: 3
That pic is from the Polar Special when Capt. Slow was checking out a shotgun and pointed the end of the barrel at his own face! :O




RE: Pic
By corduroygt on 11/22/2010 12:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
When I noticed that it was a Top Gear facepalm, I knew this article was full of win.


Wait one ...
By US56 on 11/22/2010 3:43:20 PM , Rating: 3
The "mistake" could have been strategic. It's very common if not SOP for the contracting agency to leak details of the opposing offer(s), both technical approach and cost, to the other competitor(s). The justification for it, especially going into the "best and final offer" phase of negotiations, is that it's in the interest of the taxpayers to get the best deal for the government. Usually the leaks are asymmetric. Often each competitor or at least the top competitors have their own supporting faction within the contracting agency. In this case, due to the tortured history of the program and the likelihood that the competitor which does not receive the award will again protest unless the AF is absolutely meticulous about not appearing to favor either competitor, the AF may have simply chosen to do a bilateral or symmetric leak. It's easily blamed on a "clerical error" for plausible deniability. In the case of the tanker program, EADS has no doubt submitted a loss-leader bid knowing that the contractor which gets the award could be on board for 50-60 years with a very real possibility to profit on future production blocks and a huge opportunity for future support contracts which may not yet even be envisioned. Boeing is not usually put in that situation and it was obvious in the previous rounds involving EADS they had difficulty dealing with it straight up. The AF may have "accidentally" released a certain amount of technical and pricing information to both bidders which would normally not be done in order to break a logjam in negotiations.




Wasn't accidental
By Totally on 11/22/2010 6:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Just a friendly nudge of the elbow

You can build something better and cheaper the the other guy

*wink,wink*




By BrianS10 on 11/27/2010 12:51:32 AM , Rating: 2
A good example of improvement in government efficiency. Possibly only took 4 clicks of a mouse to select the wrong addresses from a contact list and send these documents to the wrong destination. Not to mention how quickly the documents arrived at the wrong destination.

At one time, someone would have spent quite a few more seconds licking labels and placing them on the wrong envelope. Plus it would have taken days for someone to realize the mistake.




I also facepalmed
By Sylar on 11/22/2010 11:53:26 AM , Rating: 1
at comapny

you may downrate me now :P




WASTE!!
By zelachang on 11/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: WASTE!!
By AEvangel on 11/22/2010 11:46:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another example of GOVERNMENT bureacracy and waste of tax dollars. If this were a private enterprise this WOULDN'T have happened!


Well, it still might have happened, but if it did someone would have lost their jobs, where as in Govt. you just get too keep your job or get promoted.


RE: WASTE!!
By T2k on 11/22/2010 11:53:18 AM , Rating: 1
This is probably the biggest idiocy in this topic, the assumption is that somehow private business never fails...

...riiiight, just think of the scumbags like Government Sachs or the entire financial meltdown.

The main problem in this country is that way too many idiots out there repeating this kind of stupid nonsense you just voiced here.


RE: WASTE!!
By The Raven on 11/22/2010 2:10:10 PM , Rating: 1
Although he might not have meant to do it, this guy set my sarcasm detector off. LOL

But his comment aside...

quote:
...riiiight, just think of the scumbags like Government Sachs or the entire financial meltdown.

Well, the gov't does tip scales one way or another. I mean when that all went down, everyone pointed fingers at the republicans for not regulating enough. If that was the case (which it turns out that the SEC should've been all over that) then it is the gov't's fault in a way. Yes there are bad/inept people in the private sector too as you pointed out. But it seems to me that in the case of Sachs/Lehman and the recession in general, the gov't did as much wrong as the private sector.

I guess you could kind of equate it to a rapist who the gov't lets off easy and then rapes someone else. Did the gov't rape the 2nd victim? No. Are they at fault of wrongdoing? I'd say yes. (Its a weak example off the top of my head, but I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm saying.)

quote:
The main problem in this country is that way too many idiots out there repeating this kind of stupid nonsense you just voiced here.

Though I take this rant of his as nonsense, I think it is important to beware of both sides of the equation. Both big business and big gov't are dangerous and we should be weary of both. I prefer a minimum of both.

Regarding the actual article, this just sounds like a mistake that anyone could make and I don't think it is a very good example of the "Public v. Private" argument.
This guy should go to the DMV or the post office and get back to us ;-)


RE: WASTE!!
By Reclaimer77 on 11/22/2010 2:31:31 PM , Rating: 1
The OP was directly commenting on the inherent waste and inefficiency of Government. I would have thought the all caps WASTE! was a good hint. Why are you commenting on private businesses failing and the financial meltdown?

I think if you are arguing that Government can do anything more efficient and timely than the private sector, well, I wouldn't go around calling others idiots if I were you.


RE: WASTE!!
By Nfarce on 11/22/2010 3:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah because Social Security, the US Postal Service, Medicare, Medicaid, the IRS, and Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are such shining examples of great efficiencies, right? Government can afford to be inefficient - it has unlimited guaranteed income from us the taxpayers. If our federal government (and the elected people running it in Congress) were run like a private business, it would have gone bankrupt decades ago and the officials in jail.

The only difference between the Ponzi federal government and corporate corruption like Enron is that nobody except the voters is holding the government accountable - and they have no power to do anything about it.


RE: WASTE!!
By FaaR on 11/22/2010 12:16:43 PM , Rating: 1
Worldcom?

Enron?

LOL!

Besides, would you REALLY want have a privately owned and run DoD? Personally the mere thought gives me the heebie jeebies, but you sound like the kind of clueless guy who might be OK with that idea...


RE: WASTE!!
By Nfarce on 11/22/2010 4:04:12 PM , Rating: 1
There are tens of thousands of corporations in the US, and all you Big Government lovers can do is trot out the same tired ubiquitous handful of bad apples. Yawn.

We can see the corruption and inefficiencies of Big Government every single day.


RE: WASTE!!
By nolisi on 11/22/2010 4:41:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
We can see the corruption and inefficiencies of Big Government every single day.


The distinction here is that government is this big, sprawling, PUBLIC entity which cannot hide its corruptions and inefficiency. Government is also in conflict with itself (system of checks and balances between branches, and the party system), which serve to make inefficiencies and corruption more visible. Additionally, it is all located on American soil, harder to hide your corruption and inefficency when your constituents are all around you.

While corporations are big and sprawling, a good number are private entities with relatively few checks and balances that are most definitely not integrated and can hide overseas. They also tend to be unified as employers and employees are working toward a similar goal- it does not fight within itself in the same manner as the government does- and if internal conflicts do exist, they are relatively hidden as it would be bad PR for the company.

Just because you can point to more visible inefficencies and corruption in the government doesn't make it worse. It just means the government is worse at hiding them. The scary thing is you're either being willfully ignorant of the different dynamics between government and business, or you're just truly blind to the situation as it exists. Would you really have the government run as a private entity with its corruption not as readily visible, and little to no say in its operation? Countries like that exist- one of them happens to be named China.


RE: WASTE!!
By Reclaimer77 on 11/22/2010 5:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The distinction here is that government is this big, sprawling, PUBLIC entity which cannot hide its corruptions and inefficiency .


???

Of course it can. The true scope and span of Government corruption would shock all of us. Hell our own Government most likely assassinated it's own president and it's, to this day, not common knowledge. And to borrow a page from my Liberal friends, how's that war in Iraq working out for us? How about when a Government agency "misplaces" billions of dollars?

You got it all backwards. Corporations have to answer to, not only the Government, but it's shareholders and investors and the world if they are publicly traded. Who does the Government really have to answer to? Checks and balances? Please, that hasn't been a factor in a long time. It's a nice theory, but in reality Government has become one huge self serving mess.

The premise of your argument is so stupid. The Government holds ALL the power in our country. They don't NEED to hide what they are doing, we have no recourse anyway. The worst that happens to a politician these days, when he commits a crime or breaks the trust of the people, is that he has to read a public apology! OH man, how terrible!!

The biggest business now is Government. And business is booming...

quote:
Would you really have the government run as a private entity with its corruption not as readily visible


If THIS government was run like a business? I don't know any business that can print money instead of going bankrupt after horribly mismanaging, over borrowing, and spending itself to death.


RE: WASTE!!
By Nfarce on 11/22/2010 7:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Government is also in conflict with itself (system of checks and balances between branches, and the party system), which serve to make inefficiencies and corruption more visible.


Tell that to Congresspeople who do closed door under-the-table deals with special interest groups.

quote:
Additionally, it is all located on American soil, harder to hide your corruption and inefficiency when your constituents are all around you.


Well I would sure hope to hell the American government is located on American soil and not overseen by the worthless UN or something of the like.

quote:
While corporations are big and sprawling, a good number are private entities with relatively few checks and balances that are most definitely not integrated and can hide overseas.


Well you have a point there. Sort of. I guess the government SEC and IRS fails at capturing that too just like it did at failing to capture the financial meltdown.

quote:
Just because you can point to more visible inefficencies and corruption in the government doesn't make it worse. It just means the government is worse at hiding them.


Sure it does. It's OUR MONEY . OUR money isn't taken from our paychecks and given to corporations the last time I checked. If I choose to invest in a corporation, then I will reap what I sow.

quote:
Would you really have the government run as a private entity with its corruption not as readily visible, and little to no say in its operation?


Go back and re-read my analogy. I made no such statement. I said IF the government was run as a private entity it would not have survived. And that's the truth.



RE: WASTE!!
By Scabies on 11/22/2010 12:44:55 PM , Rating: 3
if this were a private thing, any mishap post-production would be a result of "holding it wrong"


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki