Judge backs EDS protest

An administrative law judge backed EDS' protest of a North Carolina Medicaid system contract and urged state officials to cancel the award and hold a new competition.

Although EDS officials celebrated the decision, officials at Affiliated Computer Services, which had initially won the contract, pledged to vigorously pursue affirmation of the original award from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The contract, awarded last April, calls for the vendor to replace the state's Medicaid information system with newer technology and then operate it. According to an ACS announcement, the contract is worth about $171 million during five years. EDS previously held the contract for management of the existing system.

EDS officials protested the contract award on the grounds that ACS' technology did not meet the requirements set forth in the request for proposals. North Carolina health officials denied an EDS protest last summer.

Now, EDS officials are waiting to see whether state officials will follow the judge's recommendation, said Ricky Pope, EDS client delivery executive.

"We hope the North Carolina [chief information officer] will act expeditiously on the judge's recommendation," he said. "We believe that we offer the best technical solution to the state and we look forward to having the opportunity to continue to serve the health care providers and taxpayers of North Carolina."

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