Forest Service to accept new proposals for Recreation One-Stop

Forest Service to accept new proposals for Recreation One-Stop

The Agriculture Department’s Forest Service will heed the Government Accountability Office’s suggestions and reopen discussions with the three final vendors to provide a consolidated reservation system for all of the nation’s parks under the Recreation One-Stop e-government initiative.

The Forest Service will send a letter next week to the companies, including original awardee ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y., and protester Spherix Inc. of Beltsville, Md., detailing the problems with the first award and asking for new proposals by February, said Heidi Valetkevitch, agency spokeswoman.

The agency plans to award the estimated nine-year, $128 million contract by the end of March and require the vendor to implement the system by November. The National Recreation Reservation Service will offer centralized information for more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves.

The protest delayed the system implementation by almost a year, Valetkevitch said. “We will fully comply with GAO’s recommendations.”

Officials at Spherix, which brought the protest to GAO, were pleased with the decision. “We will rebid,” said Richard Levin, president of Spherix. “We feel we gave them a strong proposal the first time and, if the evaluation was fair, we think we would have won. We felt like we were wronged, and now we will get another shot at this.”

Spherix’s bid was $32.6 million less than ReserveAmerica and GAO found that the Forest Service’s evaluation of proposals and decision to accept the higher bid were unreasonable.

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