Thursday AM Septmeber 10th, 2009

The U.S. government accountability office is being asked to review the army's decision to award a contract for light military trucks to Oshkosh Corporation in Wisconsin. The vehicles have been made in Sealy for 17 years, and the sudden loss of the contract could cost more than 3,000 Texas jobs. Ed Mayberry reports.


BAE Systems says the Army did not properly evaluate the proposals in a best-value competition against a set of stated criteria, according to the company's John Suttle. 

"They told us that the competition was conducted solely on the basis of cost, with complete disregard for the other factors that were specified in the Request for Proposal.  Cost makes up only 40 per cent of that proposal, and there's no way that a company that has produced more than 56,000 of these trucks with a 17-year history and already has facilities and the work force to do it can be judged on equal footing with a company that has never produced a single truck, that doesn't have the facility, the work force or qualified cab."

After BAE Systems filed their protest, the Army issued a stop-work order to Oshkosh.
 
"What happened then is a 100-day clock started.  There's a period of discovery where our attorneys get to ask a lot of questions and we're provided documents.  We're offered the opportunity to amend our protest as we become aware of different irregularities in the process, and I'm sure that we will find more than we've already found."

Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, or FMTVs, have been been manufactured at the Sealy plant since 1992.  Suttle says the loss of the contract could affect 3,000 jobs at the plant on I-10. 

"The current contract that we're producing against now runs through 2010.  Then after that, we have no more work for the facility in Sealy.  So this is an extremely important action for our company, and we're going to fight this at all costs and do the right thing for our employees and the men and women of the U.S. armed forces."

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is calling for an investigation into the Army's truck acquisition process for reviewing and awarding contracts. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...