EADS CEO Testifies Before SASC On The KC-X Competition Disclosure


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EADS CEO Testifies Before SASC On The KC-X Competition Disclosure

By Steve Hall

January 28, 2011 - EADS North America CEO Sean O'Keefe on Thursday provided the Senate Armed Services Committee with a written statement outlining the company's response to the U.S. Air Force's disclosure of data in the KC-X competition. 

"I appreciate the thoughtful and careful manner in which the Committee has engaged on the issue of data disclosure in the KC-X competition," stated Sean O'Keefe, CEO of EADS North America.  

O'Keefe expressed the hope that the Committee would gather the information necessary to gain an "...understanding of what transpired, as well as the care and precision with which EADS North America personnel dealt with a situation that they had no part in creating; and concurrently the professionalism of the U.S. Air Force response to make every effort to preserve the integrity of the procurement for aerial refueling tankers."

EADS North America commissioned an independent investigation conducted by outside counsel into the company's actions following the Air Force's unintended data disclosure. This investigation determined that a single page of summary data derived from competitive information was inadvertently viewed by one employee for no more than 15 seconds. These findings were validated by the Air Force's subsequent forensic investigation and analysis. 

In commenting on the independent investigation, O'Keefe told the Committee, "Clearly, it would have been preferable that the data disclosure by the U.S. Air Force had not happened. However, after a full and thorough review of EADS North America's actions, I can tell you with high confidence that our actions following awareness of the disclosure were timely, responsible and appropriate.  

"We have voluntarily made our findings and reports available to the Committee, as requested. We did this without making public statements that might exacerbate matters or adversely affect the course of this important procurement.  

"Unfortunately, it appears that some are attempting to exploit the U.S. Air Force's inadvertent error by speculating on events which are not in evidence. Most disconcerting is the false assertion that EADS North America held for a month the data incorrectly sent to us. I can assure the Committee that this allegation is simply untrue and is substantively contradicted by the government's investigation and detailed forensic analysis." 


The KC-45 is the U.S. configuration of the Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, which is in production for four U.S. allies who selected it over Boeing tankers in four straight competitions. The KC-45 is the only tanker offered to the U.S. Air Force that is flying and refueling today, with more than 1,500 aerial refueling contacts and 1.5 million pounds of fuel transferred. 


EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets. 

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