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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Is the Air Force flying with egg on its face?

When the news broke about the Air Force suspending three contractors, we went right to the service and got the documents that laid out allegations and reasoning behind the action.

It was damning stuff. If true, the three contractors, Advanced C4 Solutions Inc., the prime, and its subcontractors Iron Bow Technologies and Superior Communications Solutions Inc., deserved to have the book thrown at them.

They were working on a project on two buildings at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

The Air Force said it was considering pursuing debarment actions against the three, which in effect would put them out of the government contracting business.

The report had details including the number of trouble tickets issued against their work and the number of critical findings and major and minor findings uncovered by a third-party review of the work.

The Air Force said the contractors left without finishing and wouldn’t turn over documentation the problems they allegedly left behind could be fixed.

Today it is a different tune. The Air Force has lifted the suspensions without requiring any corrective actions by the companies.

Advanced C4 Solutions released a statement that says the companies were caught up in the Air Force’s efforts to catch bad actors. “The government sometimes casts a wide net and snares some good guys,” an AC4S executive said.

My mind keeps going back to all those details in the Air Force report. Where did they come from? What do they mean now? Did an overreaching prosecutor push through the suspensions?

While once eager to share information about the case, the Air Force is now in stealth mode. We’re just getting a steady flight of no comments.

Is the service so embarrassed by its apparent mistake that it just doesn’t want to talk about it?

The Air Force really shouldn’t have it both ways. If it talked in the beginning, it should talk now. It is probably the best way to restore the damage done to these three companies.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Reader Comments

Thu, Dec 1, 2011 Andrew S Maryland

Look for the connection between the "independent" third-party review of the work and an Air Force big wig at Andrews.

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