Sprint protests $450 million DREN contract

Sprint protests $450 million DREN contract

Sprint Communications Corp. filed a protest April 12 with the General Accounting Office over last week's award of the Defense Research and Engineering Network contract to WorldCom Inc.

"There were inconsistencies in the assessing criteria that were significant enough to warrant filing a protest," said Sprint spokesman John Polivka. "We felt we had a high-value proposition that deserved a better hearing."

Under the 10-year, $450 million contract, which is administered by the Defense Information Systems Agency, WorldCom will provide long-haul communication service for more than 5,000 users of the Defense Department's high-performance computing network.

The contract has been a source of controversy since DISA awarded it to Global Crossing Ltd. in July 2001. When all four of the losing bidders filed protests, DISA withdrew the award and asked all the participants to recompete. WorldCom was announced as the winner of the second competition April 4.

Washington Technology has been unable to confirm whether other disappointed bidders--Global Crossing, AT&T Corp. and Qwest Communications International Inc.--plan to file protests. Polivka said Sprint is unaware of other companies' actions, but that he would not be surprised if other competitors decided to appeal the award.

AT&T is the incumbent on the existing contract, which was set to expire in 2001. AT&T and the agency negotiated a bridge contract to continue providing services until the new contract goes into effect.

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