Saturday, October 20, 2007

Three Orders of Magnitude

There are errors and hen there are errors. Getting things out by three orders of magnitude is pretty bad as errors go:

The U.S. Defense Department said on Thursday it was awarding what might have been its richest-ever single contract at $24 billion, but it erred by a factor of 1,000.

The supposedly huge deal, listed in the Pentagon's daily contract digest, was said to have gone to Boeing Co for engineering support of the Air Force's KC-135 refueling fleet.

"No one at Boeing knows of a contract of anything of this magnitude," said Forrest Gossett, a company spokesman in St. Louis.

The Air Force referred callers to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where the contract was handled. A base spokesman, Ralph Monson, said the real deal was for $24 million -- a difference of more than $23.9 billion.

Even the military industrial complex usually isn't that bad but then when you're spending the taxpayer's money, who really cares about persniketty things like accuracy?

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