NIH, Friendship Computer settle ECS II complaint

The National Institutes of Health gave Friendship Computer, Rockville, Md., a contract with its $2 billion Electronic Computer Store II program March 9, settling a protest against the agency in which the company charged it had been evaluated unfairly.

James Roberts, a partner with the Washington, D.C., law firm Manatt, Phelps&Phillips who is representing Friendship, said the terms of the agreement with NIH were confidential. But he said the award "satisfied our difference with the agency.''

The company, Roberts said, "lost out on six months'' of sales opportunities, but company representatives "think they're going to be able to catch up'' with 45 other vendors that received contracts last fall.

Friendship had challenged how NIH evaluated its past performance and the weight it gave to a requirement that vendors have online catalogs.

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