E-gov award disputed

Liquidity Services protested GSA's award of a $500 million contract to Maximus.

General Services Administration officials recently issued a draft request for proposals for the second phase of the Federal Asset Sales e-government initiative even as the agency faces a contract protest over the first part.

Liquidity Services Inc. filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office in May after GSA awarded Maximus Inc. a contract worth up to $500 million over 10 years to sell excess federal assets and seized personal property, such as cars.

The asset program is an attempt to create a central service to oversee online and in-person sales of federal property. It is one of 24 federal e-government initiatives.

GAO officials held a protest hearing last month. A protest decision is due Aug. 18, according to a GAO lawyer, who declined to reveal the nature of Liquidity Service's complaint. Until the protest is closed, work on the original contract cannot proceed.

Bill Angrick, Liquidity Service's chief executive officer described the protest as a "private matter" between the company and the agency and refused to comment further. Officials at Maximus did not immediately return messages.

For the second phase of the asset sales program, GSA seeks a vendor to centralize the market for federal real estate properties. The performance-based contract also carries a value of up to $500 million over 10 years. The final request for proposals is slated for Sept. 30. GSA officials project that proposals will be due by mid-November.

Officials at seven federal agencies have signed memoranda of understandings to participate in the e-government real estate Web site. After the contract award, responsibility for signing up additional agencies would be partially transferred to the vendor.

Federal real estate currently for sale includes approximately 375 acres of vacant land 15 miles outside of Phoenix and the air rights above the railroad tracks on the north side of Union Station in Washington, D.C.

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