We have posted the GAO's testimony as well as the full hearing transcript on our documents site.
Also, you can listen to the hearing which is divided into two parts:
Part 1 Chairman's opening statement and the GAO testimony (23 min)
Part 2 GAO questions/Young testimony & questions (1 hr 48 min)
Observations on GAO testimony and questions:
1) GAO members found it unusual that none of the parties asked for a hearing. GAO instead called for one, but neither Sue Payton (the SSA) or LTG John Hudson (the chairman of the SSAC) testified at the protest hearing. Chairman Neil Abercrombie also found this very curious and said his subcommittee would follow up as to why these two important people were not selected by the Air Force to answer any questions.
2)Rep. Jeff Miller had the best grassy knoll theory of the day as he tried repeatedly tried to get the GAO reps to say union analysts had hand in the GAO decision. Mr. Miller attempted to call the impartiality of the GAO's decision into question by saying the GAO analysts were biased because their union, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers was a vocal critic of the KC-30 contract.
Rep. Miller was assured the GAO's protest department is not unionized, and it is separate from the congressional reports department where the analysts work. Also, the GAO reps stated that only once was an analyst's advice even sought out during the protest decision. This single instance was only to clarify if a particular term in the report was used correctly.
Rep. Miller then followed up by accusing the GOA of creating an inflammatory decision report and argued that the KC-30 team's failure to address the Air Forces questions on depot-level maintenance should not have been labeled as a "refusal". The GAO reps said that the KC-30's own lawyers stated that the decision not to provide the information on the depot-level maintenance was "intentional".
3) The GAO reps stated, that while Air Force personnel did technically break procurement law, it was their opinion that this was not a case of intentional or malicious wrongdoing.
Nor did they see any indications of procurement personnel changing their minds on evaluations that might indicate outside influence.
4) The were several discussions on the Air Forces talking points, parroted by the KC-30 team, that only 8 out of over one hundred allegations were sustained. The GAO reps. did not know where the "over a hundred" allegations number came from and thought such a ratio was contrived or missed the point that the mistakes they did find were significant.
[Sec. Young later shed some light on this issue by saying the Air Force just counted up all the allegations in Boeing's eight protests. Mr. Young though did not offer much of an endorsement on the Air Force's math but did say that many of the allegations were overlapping.]
Observations on Young's Testimony and Questions:
1) Under Secretary of Defense of Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, John Young was taken to task repeatedly for assuring Congress that the KC-(X) procurement selection was done correctly. HASC Chairman Ike Skelton (MO) said that despite these assurances, the train went off the track seven times and Mr. Young's oversight team failed to detect any of the issue the GAO sustained. Mr. Young said he had talked to his team, widely suspected to have been led by Shay Assad, about these shortcomings.
2) Rep. Nancy Boyda was asked that why only 25 year life cycle costs were used for evaluation when history shows that the tankers will probably be flown mush longer. Mr. Young replied that in fact since the requirements document stated that the life of the aircraft must be 40 years that the new RFP may call for determining 40 year life cycle costs.
3) Sec. Young stated that the current RFP would be amended as little as possible and that those amendments would primarily be to address the issues the GAO found. One of those changes could be to state that extra credit would be given to exceeding the KPP objective relating to aerial refueling.
Rep. Norm Dicks informed Sec. Young that Sec. of Defense Gates had already told Senator Levin that this extra credit provision would be in the new RFP. Sec. Young said he has not been told this Sec. Gates. (From this discussion, in is apparent that DoD has already made up its mind on this extra credit.)
4) Sec. Young said that the Sense of Congress was that cost needed to be made more important and that DoD would dutifully look into elevating this consideration. he also mentioned again that known cost such as those associated with SDD should be weighted more heavily than estimated life cycle costs.
5) Sec. Young laid out the new decision timeline as follows:
|Late July||New RFP released|
|Mid August||Final RFP released|
|Early October||Proposal submission deadline|
|Late December||Contract Decision|
Sec. Young stated that the process will be event driven and that his own team has told him that the new RFP may not be able to be completed until early August. Chairman Abercrombie told Sec. Young that he should fire anyone who is not dedicated to meeting timeline.
6) Sec. Young said that in addition to being the SSA he may also still be the Milestone B decision authority. The KC-X program currently has Milestone B approval, but this may be revoked due to the GAO findings and the expedited recompete.