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Army May Settle With Tech Award Protesters

By Jason Miller
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, November 27, 2006

The Army is considering a settlement with five companies that successfully protested awards made in April under the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 Services (ITES-2S) contract.

The $20 billion multiple-award contract, originally awarded to 11 companies, includes business process reengineering, information systems security, information assurance, information technology services, network support, systems operations and maintenance, program management, enterprise design, integration and consolidation and education and training.

Five companies -- BAE Systems North America of Rockville, Multimax of Largo, NCI Information Systems of Reston, Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles and Pragmatics of McLean -- protested the award, claiming improper technical cost evaluations. Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office sided with the protesters and ordered the Army to take corrective action.

A spokesman for the Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems said the Army "was very disappointed in GAO's decision and recommendation," because reopening the bidding would be costly to the Army and the bidders.

The potential settlement would give the Army access to a "much-needed ordering vehicle immediately . . . " and "if additional awards are made, it would increase the potential for competition," the spokesman said.

An industry source said the Army would give the five protesting companies a spot on the contract along with the original 11 winners. Those companies were Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean; CACI International of Arlington; Computer Sciences of El Segundo, Calif.; EDS of Plano, Tex.; General Dynamics of Falls Church; International Business Machines of Armonk, N.Y.; Lockheed Martin of Bethesda; Science Applications International of San Diego; Apptis of Chantilly; STG of Reston; and QSS Group of Lanham. The industry source said the service gave the five losing companies the choice of receiving a contract award or having the Army pay their bid and proposal costs and legal fees for the protest. And all five decided to be a part of the award.

A payout from the Army would have been about $1 million per company, the source said.

"Letting us back in the procurement is a no-cost issue for them," the source said. "It does enhance competition as well. And the number of companies will drop because of acquisitions over the next year."

Jason Miller is assistant managing editor for news for Government Computer News. For news on this and other contracts go tohttp://www.gcn.com.

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