GSA's ability to provide services to meet HSPD-12 endangered

The General Services Administration's ability to help agencies meet the upcoming Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 deadline could be in jeopardy.

Three companies'Xtec Inc. of Miami, EDS Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp.'have protested GSA's five-year, $104 million contract award to BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., to provide turnkey solutions to agencies trying to meet the Oct. 27 HSPD-12 deadline to begin issuing Personal Identification Verification cards.

Both Xtec and EDS filed protests with the Government Accountability Office, while Lockheed lodged a complaint directly with GSA.

The complaints to GAO dealt with the evaluation process that led to the award, audit agency officials said.

A Lockheed spokeswoman said her company 'had some concerns with the procurement process,' but could not provide more details because discussions are pending.

The protests could prevent GSA from executing the contract in time to meet the Oct. 27 deadline because, as is general practice, the agency must stop work on the BearingPoint deal until the conflicts are resolved, GAO officials said.

A GSA spokesman would not comment on whether such an order has been issued.

In this case, GAO's investigation is not expected to conclude until mid-December, meaning that GSA'and its customer agencies'could miss several critical milestones leading up to the deadline, industry observers said.

For example, by Sept. 29, the contractor was to set up a system in a production-hosting environment, which would include producing eight PIV cards at one enrollment station in two hours, having the system fully certified and accredited, and having it independently verified and validated.

BearingPoint officials declined to comment.

The BearingPoint contract was the centerpiece of GSA's Managed Service Office, a new division the agency established to help agencies meet the upcoming HSPD-12 deadlines.

Under the deal, BearingPoint would be responsible for enrolling employees, issuing smart cards that meet National Institute of Standards and Technology's Federal Information Processing Standard 201-1, and maintaining identification management accounts.

GSA was expected to begin testing the BearingPoint solution over the next several weeks before rolling it out and opening enrollment stations in four locations across the country by Oct. 27.

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