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Old November 25, 2012, 05:32 PM   #120
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 21,024
The quote from my post that you've cited twice now, is a merely an acknowledgement that humans are unable to be totally unbiased and does not, in any way, support your claim that "politics played a huge part" in the selection process. In fact, the remainder of the sentence--the part you haven't been quoting, makes it clear that I do not agree with your claim.

Here's the part you have quoted.
"I'm not saying that there were absolutely no "politics" involved because when humans are involved, it's hard to strictly exclude other issues,..."
Let's look at the whole sentence in context with the part you quoted in italics.
I'm not saying that there were absolutely no "politics" involved because when humans are involved, it's hard to strictly exclude other issues, but the claim that politics played "a huge part" in the outcome, is identical to saying that the testing results were falsified/manipulated to insure that the outcome was consistent with the political motivation. There's not a lot of room for politics to play any significant part in the outcome unless the results were faked or manipulated.
The focus of the sentence is clearly to acknowledge the common failings of humanity while still pointing out that there is no evidence for the claim that politics played a "huge" or even a "significant" part in the outcome of the trials/competition. That objection is based on the fact that the investigation and at least two court cases found no evidence of faked/manipulated/unfair testing or unfair price competition, and that when retested some years later, Beretta won that competition as well.
Do you have any evidence (and verifiable source) to back this statement up? Or is this an opinion?
Read the GAO report. I posted a link on page 3 (post #53) of this thread and referred to it earlier on this page. The test results are tabulated on page 28, and are also discussed in other locations throughout the document.
It stated "after cost analysis".
That's how competitive bids work. The technically acceptable entrants are allowed to bid and the lowest bid is selected. "Cost analysis", in this case, is looking to see which bid is lowest. More complicated bids, for example where support contracts are included, might require a more complicated cost analysis, but this one was as simple as it gets.
No mention was made pertaining to the performance testing failure on SACO's part factoring in the decision. Do you have evidence that proves otherwise?
Nope, and I don't intend to try to argue the point. If you think it's reasonable to believe that the selecting agency totally disregarded the fact that the SACO entrant failed part of the performance competition when that agency was making their final decision, I won't try to change your mind.

Frankly, I think it wasn't a major consideration in the final decision for one very simple reason. SACO wasn't the low bidder. Theoretically, if SACO HAD been the low bidder, but the price had been reasonably close, the selecting agency could have gone with Beretta anyway, citing the SACO entrant's failure in the performance testing as the rationale. Since Beretta's bid was lower, there was no need to make an issue of it.

Allowing SACO to continue to the pricing portion of the competition was a win/win for the selecting agency. They got reduced prices due to the competitive aspect of the bid (compared to what they would have gotten had they passed only one entrant on to the pricing stage) and they had an ace in the hole they could play later if they were unhappy about the way things turned out.

In one very real sense, this strongly supports the idea that the competition was conducted fairly. Had there really been significant political pressure to give the contract to Beretta, the selecting agency would have been perfectly justified in failing the SACO entrant based on the performance testing and giving the contract to Beretta without even forcing a competitive bid.

The fact that they didn't do that means that they ended up paying Beretta a lot less than they would have otherwise. According to the GAO report, the competitive aspect of the final bid saved the government between 9 and 10 million dollars.
Any verifiable evidence to back up your original statement that politics were NOT involved...
First of all, it's impossible to prove a negative. There's no way to prove something doesn't exist (or wasn't involved), all one can do is show that there are no facts supporting its existence (or involvement).

Second, I haven't claimed that "politics were NOT involved"--I've acknowledged that it's likely that they were involved to some extent and explained that acknowledgement. What I have done is objected to the claim that politics played a huge or significant role in the selection process.

Third, since you made the claim that politics played a huge part it is your responsibility to provide evidence to back up your claim. It's unreasonable to make a claim without providing evidence but then require that anyone who questions your claim must provide evidence. Until you've provided some reasonable evidence to support your claim, it's reasonable for others to question your claim. It is standard for the burden of proof to rest on the person who is making the affirmative claim, or the claim that something exists, as opposed to the person contradicting an affirmative claim or the person requesting proof of a claim that something exists. In the ideal case, the person making the claim will readily provide the evidence that was used to form the voiced opinion. In practice, it is often true that the person making the claim will be forced to look for evidence to support an opinion previously formed without the benefit of verifiable facts.

Fourth, I have already provided evidence that shows the facts are not consistent with the claim that politics played a significant role in the selection process. That evidence is in the form of the GAO investigation report. After you have read it, you tell me where you see any evidence that politics played a huge, or significant part in the selection process.

Finally, you started your involvement in this thread by making it clear that you weren't aware of the most basic details of the competition, citing involvement by a company that did not submit an entrant.

You were also apparently under the impression that two of the other entrants in the competition, SIG and S&W performed as well as the Beretta submission, when in reality, both failed at least one aspect of the performance testing.

You followed that up by proving that you don't understand how a typical government selection competition works--claiming that the fact that it came down to price (as is typical/intended in selection competitions) was evidence that politics played a huge part.

At this point, I'm going to suggest that, given a lack of familiarity with the facts surrounding this particular selection competition and selection competitions in general, given an apparent inability to either provide facts that support your opinion of the competition or to refute the facts I have provided and documented, it might be wise to do some research and, perhaps, re-evaluate your opinion in the light of the facts you will discover.
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