USAF skips appeal deadline in GAO ruling

Reuters reports that the USAF skipped filing an appeal of the GAO decision in the tanker protest. This means it’s likely to follow the GAO recommendation to rebid the tanker. The question now is, what does “rebid” mean? Will this be a full re-compete, or a narrow recompete just on the points the GAO found fault with?

Update, 345PM PDT: Here’s an update to the Reuters story with much more information. This story, in CQ Politics, takes a look at the GAO, its history of protests, and what makes for a successful protest. Buried in this piece by Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Bill Virgin are some thoughts about foreign ownership issues for the tanker obscuring more relevant issues–like which airplane is better.

Update, Wednesday, July 1, 700 AM PDT: We missed this item dated June 27 from Defense Tech; it’s about a meeting between members of Congress, the GAO and the USAF over the tanker.

Flashback, February 29, 2008: Here’s the transcript of the USAF announcement of the contract to Northrop Grumman.

A non-partisan tanker cartoon generates from our favorite tanker cartoonist, JD Crowe from The Mobile Press-Register. He gives us this one that even Boeing people can appreciate.

One Comment on “USAF skips appeal deadline in GAO ruling

  1. I can see a couple of other possibilities. One is that DOD find that the USAF erred in awarding the contract to a non-responsive bidder, Northrop-Grumman and reverse the earlier decision. In view of the GAO finding that N.G./EADS did not comply with the RFP on the depot level maintenance requirement, perhaps DOD will conclude that this RFP is now dead? To do otherwise, could risk a trip to federal claims court, where Boeing would seem to have an excellent case.

    A new “re-bid” would entail drafting a new RFP, which would probably be done under a microscope to ensure it does not favor the KC-30; this could take years to resolve before another award is made. It is possible that the Air Force may just conclude that if they want a tanker in our lifetime, then the only way to get it in the face of a a change in administration (most likely Democratic) and Congress that will be increasingly protectionist is to award the KC-X to Boeing?

    Of course, Secretary Gates could choose to punt this thing to the next administration–just like the F-22. He does have other things on his plate right now….

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