PC-2 field cut to six bidders

Two vendors have been eliminated from the competition for the Army's $554.4 million PC-2 buy and at least one protest may be in the making according to industry sources.

Additionally Zenith Data Systems which recently ran into performance problems on the Air Force's Desktop V contract last week pulled itself out of the running for the Army buy.

PC-2 run by the Army's Small Computer Program office in Fort Monmouth N.J. is a two-year dual-award program for stand-alone PCs office automation and peripherals.

Micron Electronic Systems Inc. and Telestar were told last week not to submit best and final offers with the other six bidders this Tuesday sources said. Micron and Telestar confirmed they did not make the cut.Remaining bidders in the field include BTG Inc. Electronic Data Systems Corp. Government Technology Services Inc. International Data Products Corp. Sysorex Information Systems Inc. and Telos Corp.

The decision follows the evaluation of initial proposals oral presentations and computer benchmarks by the Army's Information Systems Selection and Acquisition Agency. An ISSAA spokeswoman said the matter was "procurement-sensitive" and that the agency would not be able to comment.

ZDS decided not to pursue PC-2 but "to focus all of the corporate resources" on its existing contract and customer base said Pat Gallagher vice president of sales at ZDS. Earlier this month ZDS had its Desktop V contract suspended temporarily because of problems fulfilling orders in a timely fashion. The Air Force lifted the suspension after less than a week.

ZDS also provides products on the Army's Small Multiuser Computer II contract through Telos Corp. and the Standard Army Management Information Systems contract through Sysorex.

Given the demand of that workload "it didn't make a lot of sense to add contracts to our stockpile " Gallagher said.

Telestar an 8(a) company in Ontario Calif. was eliminated at least in part because of a mark against its past-performance record. "We are still debating what we should do " said company sources who added that the assessment was inaccurate.

The problem stems from work on a Navy contract that had been successfully completed and the company had no knowledge of any problems before this procurement according to the company source.Telestar hopes to resolve the problem with the Army but would consider filing a protest with the General Accounting Office the company said.

Micron had not been briefed as of Friday and so could not comment on the Army's decision said Felice Liston Micron's director of government sales in Nampa Idaho.

According to people familiar with the program the down-select reflects ISSAA's interest in getting more than just a low-cost PC vehicle.

"The government is conducting a best-value acquisition for [information technology] " said Robert J. Guerra president of Guerra and Associates a consulting firm specializing in government acquisition. "Everybody thinks the Army is just buying PCs. There is just a huge difference philosophically."

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