Moving Up, Updated

Originally scheduled for next week, the Air Force said Wednesday it would now provide Boeing on March 7 with a thorough debrief covering how its KC-767 was rated in the Air Force’s KC-X source-selection evaluation. (UPDATE: On Wednesday evening, Air Force spokesman Maj. David Small said in a statement, “The Air Force is in discussion now with Boeing to work out the logistics of changing the date to debrief them on the tanker contract. While no date has yet been confirmed and March 12 is still scheduled, the Air Force is willing to be flexible.”) The company asked the Air Force to move up the scheduled meeting so that the Chicago-based company could gain insight into why it did not prevail in the $35 billion KC-X contest that the Air Force awarded to the KC-30 tanker team, comprising Northrop Grumman and European maker Airbus. Northrop will get its debrief sometime next week, Air Force acquisition executive Sue Payton told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee Wednesday. Payton rejected allegations made by Norman Dicks (D-Wash.), in whose state Boeing has a huge presence, that the Air Force made changes to the evaluation criteria late in the competition that placed Boeing at a disadvantage. “There were no changes made to the requirements or the evaluation criteria of this [request for proposals] after it was approved by the joint requirements oversight council,” she said. And she reminded the panel that the Air Force’s acquisition strategy was approved by OSD and is in compliance with the Competition in Contracting Act, the Buy America Act, and the Federal Acquisition Regulations that are derived from those acts.