US tries to fix tanker mix-up with Boe­ing, EADS

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

WASHINGTON: The US Air Force said it has tried to cor­rect an em­bar­rass­ing mixup that sent the wrong data to aero­space ri­vals bid­ding on the lu­cra­tive con­tract for a new aerial re­fu­el­ing tanker.

Af­ter hav­ing sent tech­ni­cal analy­ses to the wrong com­pa­nies, the Air Force re­port­edly learned that one of the firms, EADS, had opened a com­puter file with in­for­ma­tion about the bid of its ri­val, Boe­ing.

As a re­sult, the Air Force de­cided to re­send each com­pany the other?s in­for­ma­tion and al­lowed them to re­view it.

"Air Force of­fi­cials have an­a­lyzed the in­for­ma­tion that was ac­tu­ally ac­cessed by one of the of­fer­ors and have taken steps to en­sure that both com­peti­tors have equal ac­cess to this in­for­ma­tion," the Air Force said in a state­ment.

The move was first re­ported by the New York Times on Wed­nes­day, with an of­fi­cial say­ing foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors that in­spected com­put­ers from both com­pa­nies con­cluded that an EADS worker had opened a file with de­tails of how Boe­ing's pro­posal per­formed in a tech­ni­cal eval­u­a­tion.

The Air Force in­sisted it would en­sure "a level play­ing field" in the hard-fought con­test but Boe­ing expressed con­cern over the episode, leav­ing open the pos­si­bil­ity of an even­tual for­mal protest.

The in­ci­dent "is a con­cern for us," said Den­nis Muilen­burg, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Boe­ing De­fense, Space & Se­cu­rity. -Ap

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