Evaluation of Sole-Source Award for Ejection Unit Development

NSIAD-84-85: Published: Apr 6, 1984. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Air Force's requirements for, and actions related to, the sole-source award of a contract for the development of a low profile ejection unit.

The requirement for the low profile ejector unit was based on the need for a new unit for the dual-role fighter aircraft currently being developed, according to Air Force Systems Command officials. The sole-source letter contract was awarded to the firm that developed the Multiple Stores Ejector Rack (MSER) and was based on: (1) the need to achieve commonality between the low profile ejector unit and MSER; (2) the nonavailability of a completed MSER data package; and (3) the need to deliver ejector units by a specific date for flight demonstration tests on the F-16 candidate for the dual-role fighter. GAO concluded that the Air Force's reasons for the sole-source award appeared to be consistent with Comptroller General decisions. GAO noted that, in January 1984, the contracting officer for the low profile unit stated that the second phase of development should be procured through competition rather than sole source, although a date for a final decision on this matter has not been set.

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