Treasury award protested

Northrop Grumman and Qwest officials have each filed a protest against the Treasury Department's award of a major telecommunications contract to AT&T.

The Treasury Communications Enterprise contract, which could be worth up to $1 billion according to AT&T officials, was awarded without lengthy discussions and without bidders getting the customary opportunity to submit a best and final offer.

Qwest and Northrop spokespersons declined to offer details on the grounds for their protests with the Government Accountability Office, but they said officials do not believe that the decision-making process Treasury officials used in making the award are in the government's best interests.

Tony D'Agata, vice president and general manager of Sprint's Government Systems Division, used similar language in reacting to the contract award last week. Sprint officials are still deciding whether to file a protest.

"We were disappointed in the award disposition," D'Agata said. "To not have discussions or a best and final offer on a large program like [TCE] does not appear to be in the government's best interest."

Northrop officials filed their protest on Dec. 10. Qwest officials filed theirs today.

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