EDS protests e-Travel award

Systems integrator EDS has filed a protest claiming that it was not judged fairly when the General Services Administration awarded the $450 million e-Travel contract.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel Inc. got the contract to provide Web-based travel management for the federal government.

EDS filed the protest with the General Accounting Office last month, company spokesman Kevin Clarke said. It requests the immediate suspension of all work under the contract. GSA awarded the contracts Aug. 13.

"We believe the procurement process was not fair to all bidders and that the award decision was flawed in several respects," he said. "We offered the lowest overall cost."

The protest also questioned GSA's assessment of the bidders.

"Northrop Grumman was inexplicably rated outstanding in both technology and past performance," Clarke said. "In contrast to their rating, our proposal was rated only acceptable."

EDS already has electronic travel systems running successfully at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the International Trade Commission and the U.S. Marshals Service, he said.

In addition, "One of the winning offerors was given an extra opportunity to demonstrate their solution, and EDS was not," Clarke said. "Our intention is not to cancel the two awarded contracts, but to have the opportunity to compete fairly."

The company is awaiting word from GAO, the agency responsible for reviewing other government organizations' performance.

GSA differs with EDS on when the protest was filed. According to GSA, it was filed Aug. 29.

"We are complying with the rules involving protests before the GAO," GSA officials said in a written statement. "GAO will make a decision within 100 calendar days of Aug. 29, which is Dec. 8. Once a GAO decision has been made, GSA will proceed, based on the results."

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