Just Remember: Pence Said "By Any Means Necessary"

Boeing tried to amend bid after guidance from NASA official, raising concerns it received inside information, Washington Post

"A person with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said: "I can tell you with 100 percent confidence that no laws were broken. What we are talking about are conversations that occurred outside the normal dictated channels but didn't violate the sanctity of the procurement process." ... But the probe is also focusing on Boeing, officials said. "This certainly goes both ways. It's one thing to have a mistake that violated the Integrity in Procurement Act," the aide said. "It's another if the company took that information and acted on it."

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Fifth Meeting of the National Space Council Huntsville, AL (2019), earlier post

"But to accomplish this, we must redouble our efforts here in Huntsville and throughout this program. We must accelerate the SLS program to meet this objective. But know this: The President has directed NASA and Administrator Jim Bridenstine to accomplish this goal by any means necessary. ... But to be clear, we're not committed to any one contractor. If our current contractors can't meet this objective, then we'll find ones that will. If American industry can provide critical commercial services without government development, then we'll buy them. And if commercial rockets are the only way to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years, then commercial rockets it will be. Urgency must be our watchword. Failure to achieve our goal to return an American astronaut to the Moon in the next five years is not an option."

Keith's note: VIce President Pence super duper turbocharged the whole Artemis program to land humans on the Moon by 2024. No one denies the political significance of this date i.e. before the end of a theoretical second term. This was a Herculean task to say the least and the White House certainly delivered with a massive budget request increase. That said, NASA clearly had to think outside of the box, bend some rules, and dial up procurement. And Pence certainly gave them the firm ground rule "to accomplish this goal by any means necessary". Them's fightin' words. So guess what: NASA and its contractors took up the challenge. And this happened. We won't know much more until the OIG issues its report. But it is important to remember that when the White House uses words such as Pence used then the White House needs to anticipate that people will feel that a fire has been lit under them and that they will respond accordingly. I am not offering an excuse - but rather, an explanation.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 20, 2020 4:25 PM.

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