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NGEN Protest Halts Contract Work

July 16, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The two companies heading a consortium that did not win the U.S. Navy’s $3.5 billion Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) have registered a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). This move effectively stops all work on NGEN until the GAO rules on their protest, which must occur by October 23.

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Harris IT Services Corporation filed the protest on Monday, July 15, one week before the deadline for protesting the NGEN contract award. The two firms headed a consortium that included Dell, General Dynamics and Verizon. The consortium that was awarded the NGEN contract on June 27 is headed by HP Enterprise Services (HPES) and includes AT&T, IBM, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

On the heels of the protest, Bill Toti, vice president and account executive, Navy and Marine Corps accounts, HPES, states, “The NGEN solicitation and evaluation process was rigorous and thorough. HPES has every confidence in the Navy’s evaluation and selection of HPES to continue to meet the Navy’s IT [information technology] service needs.

“Bid protests are common in the federal government procurement environment,” Toti continues. “HPES will not speculate as to why this procurement was protested. In the meantime, HPES remains focused on continuing to provide the IT services the Navy relies on through the existing continuity of services contract.”

Prior to the contract protest, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean J. Stackley declared, “The teams that formed were two very strong teams, and they both submitted very competitive bids.

“We spent an extraordinary amount of time defining our requirements and ensuring that the request for proposal mapped out our requirements … ,” he continued. “[We] conducted a number of peer reviews within the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense to ensure that the trace from requirement, to the request for proposals, to the evaluation criteria, to the proposal itself and all the discussions in between with industry—that we follow that strictly. There is no defense against a protest, but there is absolutely preparation to ensure that in the event of a protest that the government prevails, and we took every measured step to do that.”

CSC GAO Protest Docket: www.gao.gov/docket/B-408546.1

Harris GAO Protest Docket: www.gao.gov/docket/B-408546.2

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