WASHINGTON, DC – After the U.S. Air Force announced it would circumvent the Stop Work Order on the Light Air Support Embraer contract, U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo today called on the Department of Defense to reinstate the Stop Work Order until the Government Accountability Office can review Beechcraft’s protest.
The following is the text of the letter sent to Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel:
“We write, again, regarding the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Light Air Support (LAS) contract. The Air Force’s decision to circumvent the Stop Work Order and allow Embraer to proceed with the contract further compounds this issue. In the interest of transparency and good governance, we urge you to personally reevaluate this decision and reinstate the Stop Work Order.
“As you know, Beechcraft protested the Air Force’s decision to award the LAS to Embraer on Friday, March 9. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is currently reviewing the merits of this protest. Under Defense Federal Acquisition Rules, the bid protest initiated a Stop Work Order for the contract recipient, Embraer.
“Last year, the Air Force was forced to cancel this exact same contract due to extensive failures inside the Department. It is incomprehensible that the Department of Defense (DoD), particularly in light of last year’s actions, would not support full transparency and proper process this time around and wait for the GAO’s ruling on Beechcraft’s protest.
“To proceed with a contract that may not stand up before the GAO is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an affront to good governance. Furthermore, to spend money in a foreign country on a product that the Air Force may ultimately be unable to procure is foolish—especially at a time when DoD is struggling to fund vital programs and adequately equip the warfighter. In these austere financial times, this behavior is simply unacceptable.
“Mr. Secretary, please countermand the Air Force’s decision and continue to implement the Stop Work Order until GAO has finalized its decision on this matter. We eagerly await your reply.”
Earlier this month, Roberts, Moran and Pompeo sent a letter to Secretary Hagel expressing their disappointment and requesting the justification behind awarding the United States Air Force’s Light Air Support contract to foreign based Embraer over Kansas based Beechcraft. According to USAF documents, Beechcraft’s bid was 30 percent lower than Embraer’s. Beechcraft’s proposal included the preservation of 1,400 domestic jobs at 181 companies in 39 states and would have resulted in a superior aircraft.