In a 67-page review, the Government Accountability Office sharply criticized the Air Force for a litany of contracting transgressions, including everything from failing to follow its own evaluation criteria to miscalculating the maintenance costs, size and amount of fuel a plane could carry and holding unfair discussions with one of the bidders.
When they announced the winner, Air Force officials said repeatedly that they'd run an "incredibly open and transparent" process that would withstand any legal challenges.
But the GAO report made public yesterday differed about as sharply as could be imagined.
It found that the Air Force's selection process was so misguided that it was "undermined by a number of prejudicial errors that call into question the Air Force's decision."
By Dana Hedgpeth and Robert O'Harrow Jr., Washington Post Staff Writers
It just sucks to see people kicking a guy while he is down, but when they are themselves what can you do. The AF didn't get the memo on doing it right and GAO called them out in a 67 page report. If it had been a couple of pages with understandable mistakes, then you could feel they were being persecuted, but 67 pages of repeated mistakes what can you say but ouch.
I know that the other services have their issues and have taken it on the chin, but the AF crosses the street to get their @$$ kicked. You think after people went to jail the first time that they would have stuck to the letter of the law and kept to the straight and narrow, but oh no they fudged the requirements and played patty-cake with EADS. If the leadership had not already been fired for other reasons this would have been good ammo.
I hope the next go round on the tanker bidding does live up to the open and honest pledge. I know that I am tough on the AF, but come on do it right for once. I am impressed that Sec Gates says that they will, but I worry that the AF will find a way to step on it again. I have been impressed with the way Sec Gates holds the leadership accountable for their failures and takes swift and decisive action when necessary. People may argue that decapitating the AF was wrong, but from where I sit it was about time.
If you disagree then let me hear it.