Lockheed Martin took the unusual step this week of protesting an Air Force competition long before the winner is due to be selected. The company complained that it was being pressed to provide technical data about its entry in the UH-1N helicopter replacement program in a manner inconsistent with current law or regulation. Making such demands as a condition for bidding or winning a federal contract is in fact a violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. Beyond that, it is simply impossible for Lockheed to comply with the Air Force’s requests because technical data is being sought about subcontractor contributions to Lockheed’s proposed solution that the company cannot compel its suppliers to provide. The Air Force acquisition community doesn’t seem to grasp that open-ended demands for the intellectual property of offerors will reduce the ranks of companies willing to bid on its solicitations, and pretty much preclude ever doing business with Silicon Valley. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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