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.
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.
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
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.
quote: We can see the corruption and inefficiencies of Big Government every single day.
quote: The distinction here is that government is this big, sprawling, PUBLIC entity which cannot hide its corruptions and inefficiency .
quote: Would you really have the government run as a private entity with its corruption not as readily visible
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.
quote: Additionally, it is all located on American soil, harder to hide your corruption and inefficiency when your constituents are all around you.
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.
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.
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?