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Dec. 2, 2010—The KC-X tanker program may be more compromised than Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz indicated last week, and Boeing may be considering a protest or other action.

Schwartz said there were no pricing data in an internal spreadsheet of efficiency analyses inadvertently provided recently to Boeing and EADS North America on a compact disc.

However, industry sources familiar with the slip-up tell the Daily Report that the two companies could deduce quite a bit about each other’s pricing from the data, and more importantly, how each fared against Air Force efficiency benchmarks.

An Air Force forensic computer review has concluded that while Boeing returned the data sight unseen, EADS did, in fact, review the material.

That's not quite what EADS North America chief Sean O’Keefe said last week, when he told reporters the company returned the disc without looking at the data.

However, Air Force public affairs director Col. Les Kodlick said "it doesn’t matter" since the Air Force subsequently re-provided the spreadsheet to both companies in an effort to make the situation fair.

USAF doesn’t think either company did wrong as both recognized the error and returned the disc within 24 hours.

Boeing spokesman Dan Beck said "we’re in the process of reviewing the situation and its implications. We feel there are still some unresolved questions, and we are addressing those with the Air Force."

Until Boeing is satisfied that it has "a complete picture" of what happened, "we’re keeping our options open," Beck said. He declined to say what those options might be.

O’Keefe said last week EADS thought the KC-X process has been pretty clean so far. He didn't think the slipped disc was a big deal. But he also did not rule out any action.

(See also SAF/PA release)