Army cancels $590M deal

The Army left without a simple option by a partially successful protest decided last week to cancel its $590 million Army Workstation-1 procurement and buy its computers through other vehicles industry sources said.

The decision not yet officially announced by the Army involves canceling dual contracts awarded last May to Digital Equipment Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. for Unix and Windows NT workstations and associated software and peripherals.

The decision follows a protest by losing bidder Sun Microsystems Inc. that the Army Information Systems Selection and Acquisition Agency did not evaluate Sun's bid with the same criteria as the two winning proposals and failed to conduct a fair best-value analysis. The General Services Administration's Board of Contract Appeals granted the protest in part.

According to industry sourc-es any one of the Army's options following the GSBCA decision - ranging from clarifying the solicitation and taking new bids to running a new solicitation - likely would involve a long stretch without a workstation vehicle.

Rather than drag out the procurement the Army apparently has opted to use existing governmentwide contracts sources said.

An ISSAA spokeswoman last week denied that any decision had been made. "The Army is still evaluating more than one option " the spokeswoman said.

"HP remains committed to providing solutions to the Army " said Charlie Trentacosti marketing manager for HP's federal government business unit.

Digital declined to comment.

Although GSBCA did not agree with all of Sun's allegations - including charges of noncompliance in Digital's proposal - the board did recommend canceling the Digital and HP contracts. "The lack of a level playing field in this procurement requires that both awards be terminated " the board said.

The Army had decided to run its own procurement after NASA closed off its Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement to outside agencies. NASA has since decided to reopen the vehicle until the follow-on is awarded this fall.


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