Lockheed Martin protests HITS award

HITS Web site

Lockheed Martin Corp. is protesting the Housing and Urban Development Department's award for an $860 million technology services contract.

The HUD Information Technology Services (HITS) contract was awarded last month to EDS. The deal, which would provide services to 18,000 HUD users in more than 80 locations, includes a one-year base period and 10 option years.

Lockheed Martin had held the predecessor contract, which was known as HUD Integrated Information Processing Services, from 1990 to March 2001.

The company initially filed a protest to HUD Aug. 22, which was denied three days later, said Nettie Johnson, director of communications for Lockheed Martin Information Systems. HUD debriefed Lockheed Martin Sept. 4, and the company submitted questions to the agency the next day.

Based on those responses, the company filed a protest to the General Accounting Office Sept. 9, Johnson said.

"We feel that HUD may have misevaluated our proposal," she said. "We decided we did have enough grounds to protest the award. We just want to make sure it was the best-value decision. We felt we needed to take it to the GAO to ensure that."

Johnson added that EDS' proposal was significantly higher than Lockheed Martin's proposal. She declined to elaborate on the specifics.

After the company filed the protest with GAO, a stop-work order was placed on the contract. The order was lifted Friday, Johnson said, but she was unsure of the status of the work.

The stop-work order was lifted after the department deemed it was necessary to the organization to continue the project, said HUD spokesman Michael Fluharty.

"We believe the contract is necessary for the completion of HUD business," Fluharty said. "It's critical. We've made our determination and are going ahead with the work."

Fluharty said he did not know why Lockheed Martin protested the award.

GAO officials have until mid-December to make a decision, Johnson said.

An EDS spokesman recently found out about the protest and was unable to comment.

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