Boeing drops its protest of Seat Management

Boeing Information Services Inc. is giving up its effort to win a General Services
Administration Seat Management contract and dropping its protest.

Boeing passed up the option of taking its protest of GSA Federal Technology
Service’s Seat Management Program contracts to the General Accounting Office.

The deadline for filing a protest with GAO passed late last month. Boeing of Vienna,
Va., filed an agency-level protest of GSA’s Seat Management contracts in July.

“It’s dead as far as Boeing is concerned,” a Boeing official said.

Boeing could have taken GSA to court in an attempt to halt the contracts and could have
sought to prevent GSA from finalizing task orders under those contracts.

Although GSA protest official Donald J. Suda sustained Boeing’s protest [GCN, Aug.
31, Page 1], GSA’s Federal Technology Service decided not to award Boeing a Seat
Management contract. Instead FTS officials presented Suda with cost and technical
information they said justified their decision to award Seat Management contracts to eight
other companies [GCN, Oct. 12, Page 3].

In its protest to GSA, Boeing argued that FTS misled vendors about the criteria that it
would use to evaluate proposals.

Meanwhile, officials promoting desktop PC outsourcing stressed that agencies need to
look beyond per-seat costs to fully implement a seat management project.

Although NASA has not released specific per-seat cost figures yet for its Outsourcing
Desktop Initiative at NASA projects and ODIN vendors have been instructed not to comment,
the cost figures are believed to be below most estimates.

Mark Hagerty, the agency’s ODIN project manager, said he was very pleased.
“I’m confident … that the agency is going to save some money,” he said
last week at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association breakfast forum in
Bethesda, Md.

NASA recently issued the first orders under ODIN [GCN, Nov. 9, Page 1]. The agency expects to begin work soon.

GSA deputy chief information officer Donald Heffernan also said agencies need to look
beyond cost. For GSA’s Seat Management Program, orders will represent a 10-year
relationship. The relationship will control a critical part of the buying agency’s
infrastructure so it is important that both sides be happy, Heffernan said.    

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