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Posted: 11/14/2001 6:13:45 PM EDT
Offered without comment:

Begin Quote

Department of Defense

Office of the Inspector General -- Audit

Procurement of M4 Carbines -- Report No. 97-165(PDF)

Date: June 17, 1997
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To obtain copies of Office of the Assistant Inspector General for Auditing
Reports, contact the Secondary Reports Distribution Unit of the Analysis,
Planning and Technical Support Directorate at (703) 604-8937 or FAX (703)
604-8932.
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This audit was requested by members of the Congressional delegation from
Connecticut who were concerned with the Army and Navy's failure to safeguard
the Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc. technical data package. The members
also questioned the procurement process for a sole source contract awarded
to Colt's by the Army that was subsequently terminated. The primary
objectives were to determine whether Colt's technical data package for the
M4A1 carbine was improperly released to Colt's competitors, and if the
government violated procurement regulations when it terminated the contract
with Colt's.

Both the Army and Navy failed to protect Colt's M4A1 carbine technical data
package from improper release. An Army engineer inappropriately released the
M4A1 carbine technical data package to the Navy. The Navy originally
requested the technical data package for internal use, but inappropriately
released it to 21 contractors in a solicitation for M4A1 adapter kits. The
Army and the Navy took steps to remedy the disclosure, as is provided for in
Article XX of the license agreement. We were unable to determine what, if
any, effect the disclosure had on Colt's future sales of M4 carbines. The
Army was within its rights to terminate the M4 carbine contract with Colt's;
however, Army made numerous administrative and clerical errors during the
procurement of the M4.

End Quote
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 3:31:35 AM EDT
I dont mean to sound like an ass but.. Did they (Colt)think the goverment could actually keep it a secret? They needed enhancments and colt, as far as I know, isnt in that business. Colt can always sell the guns somewhere else if they are so great..

Ropes

Link Posted: 11/15/2001 4:26:11 AM EDT
This is what I heard....
Colt lost the M16A2 contract to FN.
When the M4 came out, Bushmaster made some for the Military, Colt cried that they had exclusive rights to make the M4.

I don't get it, The M4 is just the A2 updated CAR15, not some new technology that Colt invented.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 5:14:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 5:33:52 AM EDT
When you work as a government contracter, it is an understood risk that any patents, intellectual property, etc... could be claimed as public domain.

I have been involved in a couple of CRADAs with the Air Force (cooperative research and development agreements). The feds get claim for government use (thus you potentially forfeit a major customer), but you get protected rights for private sector. However, it is meaningless because any competitor can request patent documents, etc... as part of the freedom of information act (assuming that it is declassified).
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 6:39:45 AM EDT
I don't know why, but all USA big 3 gun manufacturers have a habit of inadvertently shooting themselves in the perverbial foot. S&W pushed hard for federalizing the definition of the Sat. nite spl in order to keep out the Rossis & Taruus'. Ruger with the insistence of not selling more than 10 round mags on the commercial market. All of has resulted in the said state of affairs we have today.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 7:51:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/15/2001 7:44:24 AM EDT by Dave_G]
Colt sued and after prevailing at the first two levels, the government settled after the judges ruled that the technology, including new patents that Colt had taken out on the M4 features, were not covered by the original M16 license agreement and the military had no right to publish the specs as part of a request for a bid to Colt's competitors. A contract for M4's let to FNMI was cancelled and Colt was awarded a sole source contract through 2010, when the last patent runs out.
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