HITS protest upheld

The Government Accountability Office has upheld a protest by Lockheed Martin over a $750 million contract. However, officials at EDS, which had been awarded the contract, say the fight is not over.

Lockheed Martin had held the contract that preceded the HUD Information Technology Systems (HITS) contract issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Company officials have been fighting the award of the HITS contract to EDS since it was announced in August 2003.

"Today's decision by the GAO does not mean that Lockheed Martin has won the contract or provided a better solution," said EDS spokesman Kevin Clarke. "We continue to believe that our solution is the best one for HUD."

Clarke said EDS officials have not seen the formal GAO ruling, but they expect the agency to order HUD to take some form of corrective action. Given another opportunity to compete for the contract, he said, "we would vigorously work to secure the business."

EDS has won the HITS contract twice now: at the initial award and again after protests from both companies prompted HUD officials to reissue the proposal earlier this year.

Lockheed officials also have not seen GAO's recommendations, said spokeswoman Nettie Johnson.

"We are very happy that they have upheld the protest," she said. "This is the second time this has happened. We look forward to finding out what GAO has recommended."

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