Monday, December 14, 2009

GAO Reverses Army Contract

I really don’t know how unprecedented it is, not following these things too closely, but today in its decision over the US Army’s award of a military truck contract to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh, Corp., the Government Accounting Office essentially told the Army that their decision-making process was “flawed”, and that they should not have awarded the contract to the lowest bidder.

Get that? Don’t award contracts to the lowest bidder.

My question is then, what does that leave us with? Awarding contracts to the squeakiest wheel?

The second-lowest bidder, a British-owned company called BAE, with a plant in nearby Sealy, Texas, lost in its bid to renew its 17-years long lucrative contract to build military trucks, lucrative in that these need to be replaced when they get ruined by IEDs, and cried foul when the lowest bidder, Oshkosh, won.

Losing the contract would have been bad news for the British company and a blow for workers in the Texas plant. After they lost the bid, after mind you, federal legislators from the Texas delegation scrambled to get a mulligan from the feds.

They wanted a do-over.

Because, they said, Oshkosh hadn’t been building these trucks for 17 years, and the Texas plant had.

That’s all. End of story. Nevermind that the Wisconsin company underbid the British company by 10%. Never mind all of that. What matters is not how much taxpayer money gets spent, but who gets to receive the money.

I guess I am mainly amused by these two-faced Texas congressmen and senators who decry spending one dime for a child’s health insurance because that would be fiscally irresponsible, have no trouble spending billions of taxpayer dollars for military equipment as long as it goes to a Texas company (and at that, a wholly owned subsidiary of a British conglomerate).

Because when it’s money that’s doing the talking, hypocrisy can’t be far behind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"My question is then, what does that leave us with? Awarding contracts to the squeakiest wheel?"

Someone is pulling strings again in our corpocracy.