GAO denies AKO protests

Last week, the Government Accountability Office denied the protests of CherryRoad Technologies and EDS regarding the award of the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Enterprise Services contract in July to an industry team led by Lockheed Martin.

GAO determined that the Army's evaluation and source selection was reasonable, said Daniel Gordon, GAO's associate general counsel for procurement law. The agency even conducted a hearing on the matter, a step saved for special circumstances, he said.

Steven Whitaker, director of federal operations at CherryRoad, which helped the Army build AKO, said his company is disappointed. Kevin Clarke, an EDS spokesman, said his company is also "disappointed in the ruling but appreciative of the opportunity to have our issues heard."

CherryRoad filed a protest based on a matter of interpretation. EDS officials believed the Army did not select the best-value proposal.

An Army information technology official said the service was pleased with the decision and is making plans to resume discussions with Lockheed Martin about AKO. Scott Lusk, a spokesman for the company, said officials are looking forward to receiving the instructions necessary to begin work on the portal.

The Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $152.1 million contract for one year with six option years. Under the performance-based contract, the company and its team will administer the service's Web portal, which now has 1.8 million subscribers, and oversee its knowledge management program.

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