Sen. John McCain wants to see a watchdog group get involved in the Air Force’s latest aerial refueling tanker contest between the Boeing Co. and duo Northrop Grumman and EADS.
McCain played a major role in putting an end to a contract awarded by the Pentagon to Boeing. A senior weapons buyer was found to be steering the contract Boeing’s way in lieu of jobs at the Chicago-based aerospace company for she and her family.
In 2008, the Air Force awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman and EADS. But that contract also was halted when government auditors found the Air Force’s contest to be unfair.
Last month, the Air Force kicked off its third attempt to replace its aging KC-135 Stratotanker fleet.
McCain told Reuters that he would like to see independent government auditors involved from the get-go.
From the Reuters story:
“I’d like to see them track it along the way,” the Arizona Republican said. “And I would trust their judgment as to whether the whole process is biased toward one side or the other.”
“Given Boeing’s past experience, it’s just hard for me to believe that they would try to skew the process in an unfair fashion,” added McCain. “But that’s why we have watchdog agencies that have the talent and expertise, I think, to make those kind of judgments. I cannot make a judgment.”