Today, the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) upheld the bid protest of The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) of the award of a $35 billion tanker contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. and European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co (“EADS”). The award of the massive government contract to the group which includes European based EADS had been widely criticized by lawmakers and patriots alike.
In a preliminary statement released by the GAO, it opined, “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.”
While the GAO recommendation is not determinative as to who will eventually be awarded the government contract, it provides Boeing another shot to obtain the enormous procurement.
The GAO issued a full 69 page decision which is currently subject to a protective order because it contains proprietary and source sensitive information. A copy of the GAO’s preliminary statement regarding its decision can be found here.
In most instances the GAO and the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States consider protests to the award of federal government construction contracts.