Government Contracting: It’s Tough to Go International - There’s So Much Corruption Overseas
When the United States government goes shopping for contractors, there is an inherent tension between two competing desires for whom the Feds hire.
You’d like to see the gigs go to American companies and people. But you’d like the taxpayers to get the best deal - and that might mean non-American companies and people.
But there’s a superseding factor - that trumps this inherent tension…and everything else Corruption. If one of the bidders is corrupt - it doesn’t matter if they’re foreign or domestic. They are out of consideration.
Or at least they should be.
The U.S. Air Force is bidding out the T-X Trainer:
“The T-X program has been established to enable the United States Air Force to buy a new two-seat jet trainer for fast-jet training to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon; the average age of the T-38 fleet is over 50 years. About 350 aircraft are expected to be ordered to replace the T-38, but further purchases could push the overall purchase to over 1,000.”
Ok - it definitely sounds like its time for some new planes. Who’s seriously in the running for the gig?
T-X Trainer Competition Narrows Ahead of Down-Select:
“The U.S. Air Force’s hunt for a next-generation military trainer aircraft is seemingly a cost shootout between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.…”
Ok - two American companies. Except each - is partnering with a foreign company. Boeing is leaning a little on Swedish Saab - and Lockheed Martin is leaning a lot on South Korean Korean Airspace Industries (KAI).
Boeing’s bid is a good bit more American. But then - the corruption overriding kicker kicks in.
DOD Bid Process Dogged By Corruption:
“(T)he Air Force (is) consider(ing) giving the contract for the T-X Trainer to Lockheed Martin and their partner Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI)….”
Corruption? You may have seen KAI in the broader news of late.
South Korea's KAI Says Paid Firm of Trump's Lawyer $150,000 for Accounting Advice
That lawyer - is Michael Cohen. But Cohen is just the media’s latest lame way to try to damage President Donald Trump. There is plenty of KAI-exclusive corruption at which to look.
Police Raid KAI HQ in Corruption Probe, Report Says:
“(I)nvestigators…searched offices in the factory construction and accounting divisions of the company’s headquarters in Sacheon.…
“Yonhap said the search was separate from an ongoing investigation into whether top KAI officials manipulated expenses and test results for defense projects….”
Get that? This corruption raid - “was separate from an ongoing investigation into whether top KAI officials manipulated expenses and test results for defense projects….”
Defense projects - like, say, their partnering with Lockheed Martin to build the US’s T-X Trainer.
KAI Vice President Found Dead Amid Corruption Scandal:
“According to police, the body of Kim In-sik, who was in charge of KAI’s overseas business as vice president, was found at his home in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province. A three-page suicide note was found near his body.
“Kim’s death came a day after KAI Chief Executive Ha Sung-yong was arrested for accounting fraud. He is accused of directing the manipulation of financial records of the company‘s oversea projects and granting contracts to suppliers without a fair bidding process in return for kickbacks.”
Get that? Aside from the tragic suicide of the VP, KAI’s CEO was busted for…” the manipulation of financial records of the company‘s oversea projects…”
Overseas projects - like, say, their partnering with Lockheed Martin to build the US’s T-X Trainer.
CEO of Top South Korean Military Supplier Resigns over Corruption Scandal
Given KAI’s-now-ex-CEO’s serial penchant for being seriously dishonest in word and data with people to whom he is submitting bids - how can the US possibly trust the bid KAI co-submitted for the T-X Trainer?
As we said, corruption - anti-trumps everything. Or at least it should.
Any bid with KAI in the mix - shouldn’t be in the mix.
This first appeared in Red State.