GAO Backs Boeing's Protest of $40B-Deal

Officials want Air Force to re-examine contract that went to competitor
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 1:54 PM CDT
In this Aug. 6, 2007 file photo, a large fan cools the interior of a Boeing 767 cargo plane being built in Everett, Wash, before a rally on the line later in the day.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)
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(Newser) – Congressional investigators today seconded Boeing's protest of the US Air Force's decision to award a lucrative tanker contract to a competitor and its European partner, the Seattle Times reports. The Government Accountability Office said it found "a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman," and recommended that the service hold a new competition.

Grumman partnered with Airbus on the $40-billion deal. The decision is not binding, but puts political pressure on the Air Force to reopen the contract. It also helps Boeing make the case that Congress should block funding for the unpopular deal or force a new competition.