EADS makes the slimy move of looking at Boeing’s confidential data.
Boeing however, did the right thing.

Boeing KC-767 tankers

In the wake of the USAF Shakespearean comedy of errors earlier this month of misaddressing envelopes to rival bidders in the KC-X tanker smackdown, the New York Times reported today that the European Aeronautics Defense and Space Company (EADS), had opened a computer file containing some of the data but that its rival, Boeing, had not.

The mixup, which started when the Air Force inadvertently sent each company the wrong data, has thrown the long-running effort to replace its aging aerial refueling tankers into turmoil again. The difference in how the companies handled the data, which emerged from interviews on Tuesday, has stoked Boeing’s concern about whether the process might be tainted. It hinted that it might file a formal protest.

“Until we’re satisfied we have a complete picture, we’re keeping our options open for how we go forward,” said Daniel C. Beck, a Boeing spokesman.

The Air Force said last week that it had reassigned two officials who mistakenly sent compact discs to the companies that contained government assessments of the refueling capacities of their rival’s planes.
At the time, the Air Force said both companies had promptly reported the error and returned the discs and said it saw no reason to halt the bidding.

Spokesman for the Air Force, Col. Les A. Kodlick said that forensic investigators had inspected computers at both companies. He said the inspections confirmed that Boeing’s employees had not opened a folder with the data about its competitor’s plane, while an EADS worker had “inadvertently opened” a file containing part of the government’s scoring of Boeing’s bid.

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