,--Today, U.S. Representative Ted Budd and four other lawmakers sent a request to the Government Accountability Office for an investigation into the process that led to the approval of a foreign military sale of 12 weaponized border patrol aircraft and other equipment to the Government of Kenya. The sole-source contractor selected to provide the equipment has never successfully produced an aircraft of this type, while the only U.S. manufacturer with experience in this area was never considered as an option for the sale.
“These planes are vital equipment for our ally Kenya’s effort to defeat Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda offshoot in Africa,” said Congressman Budd. “Kenya pays the U.S. to use the foreign military sale process and in return, our government is supposed to act the same as if it were buying equipment on behalf of the U.S. taxpayer. The fact that the price of this sale is $181 million above the market rate raises some serious questions about our defense acquisition process.”
“That’s why I’ve asked for an unbiased, nonpartisan government agency to take a look at this. The Government Accountability Office is well-suited to determine if the rules were followed here. Politics has no place in a process like this.”
“This arms deal warrants, at the very least, a public investigation,” said Congressman Jones. “When we see a well-equipped small business overlooked and our allies overcharged, it is time we take action and review the deal.”
The five lawmakers asked for additional insight into the Kenya sale process, as well as for clarity on whether or not the relevant agencies had complied with the Arms Export Control act and applicable regulations. IOMAX, a Service-Connected Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business in North Carolina, has 48 of this type of aircraft in service, has quoted an apples-to-apples total package price of $237 million, and was never considered by the Air Force as an option for the sale.
Rep Budd (R-NC) was joined by: Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones (R-NC).