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At issue was the posting of what Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the SMC commander overseeing the EELV competition, calls an internal “working paper” on the fedbizopps.gov website. This paper was intended for coordination only among Air Force officials and program “stakeholders,” Greaves says, but it was viewable by the public, including the competitors, for about 7 hr. on May 13. It was posted on the website alongside the draft RFP for the GPS III program.
The Air Force intended to post a blank template of this so-called Comments Resolution Matrix (CRM). Instead, the actual document, including government and stakeholder comments about the competition, was uploaded. “The most important part of a CRM is the ‘decision’ or adjudication column, which determines how the Air Force responds to the specific comment” in the document, Greaves says. “While comments [in the CRM] may seem controversial, the Air Force may choose to accept, modify or reject each individual comment while drafting the final RFP.”
One program official said the matrix included comments that could be construed as biased for or against particular competitors. SpaceX declined to comment. ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye said, “We’re aware of the incident and have been in discussions with the Air Force about how it may be addressed. We will continue to evaluate its impact upon the Phase 1A procurement and act accordingly.”