GAO upholds ITIP protests

Three companies are back in the running for the Transportation Security Administration’s $2 billion Information Technology Infrastructure Program (ITIP) contract, officials said.

Unisys and Northrop Grumman filed protests with the Government Accountability Office and the Federal Aviation Administration after TSA eliminated them from contention for the award. Unisys held the original contract that started in 2002.

TSA officials confirmed Aug. 19 that they would add Unisys, Northrop Grumman and a third bidder, EDS, to the final group of qualified bidders the agency first chose in June. That group already included Computer Sciences Corp., General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin.

TSA is expected to award ITIP by the end of the year, an agency spokesman said.

The value of the new contract, which TSA is awarding through the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge solutions procurement vehicle, has not been disclosed, but industry estimates suggest a value of $225 million annually, or about $2 billion overall.

The contract continues work begun under the IT Managed Services contract to build TSA’s computer networks and infrastructure, primarily at airports. Unisys won the original contract and then received a bridge contract to extend the work through 2008.

TSA was part of the Transportation Department before being incorporated into the Homeland Security Department when DHS opened in March 2003.

Until recently, TSA was exempted from the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition handled its disputes. The office uses alternative dispute resolution techniques.

TSA’s resolution in this protest is good, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president at the Professional Services Council, a trade group for services contractors. “We are big fans of alternative dispute resolution.”

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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