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Air Force reacts to CSAR-X report

5/4/2007 - WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- The Government Accountability Office released its redacted report May 3 regarding the Air Force's Request for Reconsideration on the Combat Search and Rescue Replacement vehicle, the CSAR-X. 

The report states that GAO officials had "reviewed all of the additional arguments raised by Sikorsky and LMSI (Lockheed Martin Systems Integration), and we found that none furnished an additional basis for sustaining the protests." 

In addition to denying all remaining protest issues, the report explicitly addressed and denied two specific arguments raised by the protestors regarding the Air Force's CSAR-X evaluation. 

"We truly appreciate the GAO taking the time to get this done quickly," said Sue Payton, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. "Their expeditious handling of our Request for Reconsideration will allow us to complete this acquisition and get the CSAR-X to the warfighter." 

According to the GAO report, the LMSI protest stated that the Air Force had misled them during discussions as to the Air Force's view of their past performance, and that the Air Force overemphasized LMSI's performance under the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter contract. 

In its decision the GAO said that, "it is clear from the record that the Air Force reasonably communicated to LMSI its concerns with respect to its performance under the VH-71 contract. In this regard, the solicitation provided for evaluation of 'an offeror's relevant present and recent past performance, focusing on and targeting performance which is relevant to the Mission Capability subfactor and Cost/Price factors' (of the evaluation criteria)." 

Additionally, GAO officials responded to LMSI and Sikorsky questioning the Air Force's evaluation of the deployability of Boeing's proposed aircraft, the HH-47 helicopter. In the report they said that the Air Force's evaluation of the HH-47 did not appear to be unreasonable and that neither LMSI nor Sikorsky had proven otherwise. 

The GAO decision aids the Air Force in developing a responsive corrective action plan that allows both the Air Force and the CSAR-X offerors to focus their efforts on the specific cost issue identified in the GAO's February 26, 2007 decision.

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