Army splits protest decision
- By George I. Seffers
- Dec 06, 2000
The Army has handed down a split decision in a protest of a $1.4 billion
program award and may reopen bidding on part of the program.
The Army in late August awarded an $857 million contract to GTSI Corp.
and a $617 million deal to IBM Global Services-Federal to provide hardware,
software and services to the Army, Navy and Treasury Department under the
Mini, Maxi and Database-1 (MMAD-1) program.
The dual award was expected to offer the Army several advantages, including
ongoing competition and ensuring a continuous a supply line should one contractor
run into trouble.
However, two losing contractors — Litton PRC Inc. and Federal Data Corp. — formally protested the awards to the Army Materiel Command, which handed
down its split decision Wednesday and recommended that the Army's Communications-Electronics
Command should consider recompeting the award to GTSI.
"Army Materiel Command denied the protest against IBM, and it denied
in part and sustained in part the protest against the second award [to GTSI],"
said Michelle McCaskill Griggs, an AMC spokeswoman. "Cecom is considering
corrective action, including possibly reopening the competition to any remaining
competitors for the second award."
Griggs said she could offer no further details on the decision.
Industry sources, however, say that AMC sustained the protest against
GTSI in part because it might not have been evaluated fairly with all companies
"on a level playing field."
Both GTSI and Cecom can file appeals. The command also could choose
to move forward with just one award to IBM or to follow AMC's recommendation
and allow the companies to recompete.
"We believe very strongly that Cecom conducted a fair and equitable
procurement with regard to process," said Joel Lipkin, GTSI senior vice
president of sales and customer support. "We believe they made two awards
based on best value, and we are looking at what alternatives we have at
The organizational-level protests were filed with the Army Materiel
Command rather than with the General Accounting Office or the courts. Organizational
protests are designed to settle disputes quickly; in this case, it took
about 100 days.