GAO Overturns Air Force Tanker Contract

Today the Government Accountability Office sustained Boeing’s protest against the Air Force award of the new air refueling tanker contract to Northrop Grumman/EADS.  The press release — which you can read here  — shows that GAO agreed with Boeing that the Air Force had violated government contract law and regulations by making the choice of the too big, too heavy Airbus aircraft based on criteria different from the ones in the Air Force request for proposals. 

HUMAN EVENTS is awaiting a redacted copy of the full decision and will write on the full scope of the decision as soon as possible. 

Where the matter goes from here is unclear. The Air Force can reopen discussions with both companies, it could cancel the procurement and start again, or it could — in extremis — assert an emergency and ignore the GAO.  (In that case, Boeing surely would get a court to stop the Air Force from proceeding).