Forest Service will revisit rec site bids

The Forest Service will heed the Government Accountability Office's suggestions and reopen discussions with vendors for the Recreation One-Stop e-government contract.

The Agriculture Department agency sent a letter last week to the companies, including original awardee ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y., and protester Spherix Inc. of Beltsville, Md., detailing the problems with the first award and asking for new proposals by February, agency spokeswoman Heidi Valetkevitch said.

The agency plans to award an estimated nine-year, $128 million contract by the end of March and require the vendor to implement the system by November. The National Recreation Reservation Service will offer centralized information for more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves.

The protest delayed the system implementation by almost a year. Spherix's bid was $32.6 million less than ReserveAmerica's, and GAO found that the Forest Service's decision to accept the higher bid was unreasonable.

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