Procurement woes continue for tanker contract

The Pentagon has postponed the $40 billion aerial tanker deal that has been mired in controversy, the Washington Post reported.

The contract was won by Northrop Grumman Corp. and EADS, but losing bidder Boeing Co. filed a protest, saying that the Northrop-EADS team was treated more favorably by the Air Force. The Government Accountability Office agreed that there were problems with the procurement process and recommended that the Air Force reconsider the bids.

Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that making a decision on the $100 billion contract was too difficult and complex to be made by the end of the year.

"Over the past seven years, the process has become enormously complex and emotional ? in no small part because of mistakes and missteps along the way by the Department of Defense," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the House Armed Services Committee. "It is my judgment that in the time remaining to us, we can no longer complete a competition that would be viewed as fair and objective in this highly charged environment."

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