Recreation.gov protest upheld

Government Accountability Office officials sustained today a bid protest decision filed by Spherix over Forest Service officials' decision to award another online reservation company the contract for a five-agency online recreation reservation system.

In August, the service gave ReserveAmerica a performance-based contract worth up to $128 million if all options are exercised. The deal includes a base period of three and a half years and options that could stretch it to as long as 10 years.

Richard Levin, Spherix president and chief executive officer, said the company's bid was $32.6 million cheaper than ReserveAmerica's offering during the lifespan of the contract.

"Even if they're better, they're certainly not $32.6 million better," he told Federal Computer Week.

Officials at the Agriculture Department, the Forest Service's parent department, should reopen the competition, Levin said.

Receration.gov is part of Recreation One-Stop, one of 24 e-government projects Office of Management and Budget officials started in 2002. Agencies that manage the majority of public recreation land are slated to consolidate their operations into Recreation.gov. The agencies are the Forest Service; the Army Corps of Engineers; and the Interior Department's National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

ReserveAmerica already operates the National Recreation Reservation Service, one of two existing online reservation systems for federal lands. The other, which Spherix operates, is the National Park Service's National Park Reservation Service. It is slated to be eliminated once services are consolidated into Recreation.gov.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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