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Policy Letter

POGO letter to Senator Carl Levin commending the senator for blocking legislation that would have permitted the Air Force to purchase C-17's in a "commercial-like environment"

The Honorable Carl Levin

Chairman, Committee on Armed Services

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510-6050

Via facsimile: (202) 224-1388

Dear Senator Levin:

For nearly a year, the Project On Government Oversight has investigated attempts by the Air Force to craft a sweetheart deal with Boeing Company to purchase at least 60 C-17 airlift aircraft using "commercial" procurement practices. Not only would such a plan deny taxpayers the most value for their money, but it would in effect remove government oversight of a multi-billion-dollar contract.

We commend you for ensuring that such language was not included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002. It would have been nothing short of a disaster had the Air Force been permitted to waive federal law and regulations designed to ensure that the government is not ripped-off by defense contractors.

Documents obtained by POGO in recent months have made it clear that the Air F orce ' s C-17 "commercial-like environment" proposal would put the government --and taxpayers --at extreme risk. Not only is the back-room deal tantamount to a contractor bail-out, but the lack of fmancial transparency would certainly result in government losses.

Thank you for your watchful leadership.


Danielle Brian

Executive Director