2008-06-22 - KC-45 bid deniedGAO recommends recompetition of tanker order
KC-45-Tankerauftrag soll neu ausgeschrieben werden<br /> The Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained the Boeing Company's protest of the Department of the Air Force's award of a contract to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for KC-X aerial refueling tankers.
Boeing challenged the Air Force's technical and cost evaluations, conduct of discussions, and source selection decision. "Our review of the record led us to conclude that the Air Force had made a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman. We therefore sustained Boeing's protest," said Michael R. Golden, the GAO's managing associate general counsel for procurement law. "We also denied a number of Boeing's challenges to the award to Northrop Grumman, because we found that the record did not provide us with a basis to conclude that the agency had violated the legal requirements with respect to those challenges."
The GAO recommended that the Air Force reopen discussions with the offerors, obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with the GAO's decision. The agency also made a number of other recommendations including that, if the Air Force believed that the solicitation, as reasonably interpreted, does not adequately state its needs, the Air Force should amend the solicitation prior to conducting further discussions with the offerors; that if Boeing's proposal is ultimately selected for award, the Air Force should terminate the contract awarded to Northrop Grumman; and that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys' fees. By statute, the Air Force is given 60 days to inform the GAO of the Air Force's actions in response to GAO's recommendations. The GAO decision should not be read to reflect a view as to the merits of the firms' respective aircraft. Judgments about which offeror will most successfully meet governmental needs are largely reserved for the procuring agencies, subject only to such statutory and regulatory requirements as full and open competition and fairnessto potential offerors. The GAO bid protest process examines whether procuringagencies have complied with those requirements.