ITES-2S losers file new protests

Five losing bidders have filed protests with the Government Accountability Office in response to the Army’s second issuance of its Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 2 – Services (ITES-2S) contract vehicle.

BAE Systems North America, NCI Information Systems, and Multimax all filed their protests on July 17. Northrop Grumman followed suit on July 18 and Pragmatics filed its protest on July 21.

ITES-2S is the Army’s $20 billion, nine-year contract vehicle meant to provide a broad range of IT services and solutions. It is central to the service’s drive to develop a global network-centric enterprise and is a follow-on to the $1 billion ITES-EMS3 contract issued in 2003.

The Army originally issued ITES-2S awards to 11 large and small contractors on April 14. Five companies protested to the GAO in May. Later that month, the Army withdrew the awards without giving a reason. On July 12, the Army issued the awards again, to the same 11 companies.

The Army won’t comment on the reason for the withdrawal, other than to say it requested new, corrected information from the bidders. After receiving the corrected information, the Army repeated a meticulous review process, an Army spokesperson said.

“The Army…withdrew the original award. And then, they decided that that the new information that was received wasn’t enough to change the awards,” said Dean Sprague, spokesman for the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems.

PEO-EIS’ Army Small Computer Program, the Army Contracting Agency’s IT, E-Commerce and Commercial Contracting Center and Network Enterprise Technology Command issued the awards.

The GAO has 100 calendar days to issue a ruling on the protests, making Oct. 25 the last day for a decision. But the GAO could issue a ruling sooner.

“We very rarely need the 100 days,” said Daniel Gordon, chief of the Bids Protest Division at GAO. “We typically decide the case by about day 70 or 80.”

ITES-2S protests may not ever make it to adjudication, Gordon said. “Most protests drop out for one reason or another,” he said. “Either the protesting companies withdraw their protests or the agency takes corrective action, or we dismiss for one reason or another.”

The winning companies were Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI-ISS, Computer Sciences Corp., EDS, General Dynamics, IBM, Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Science Applications International Corp. for the large-business awards. Apptis, QSS, and STG won the small-business prizes.

Representatives of the protesting companies declined to comment.

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