Two drop DREN protests

Two of three losing bidders for the Defense Research and Engineering Network project have withdrawn protests of the 10-year, $450 million contract awarded in April to WorldCom Inc.

Late last month, AT&T Corp. and Sprint Corp. officials told the General Accounting Office that their companies would withdraw protests against the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Neither company gave a reason, said Dan Gordon, associate general counsel at GAO, adding that such withdrawals are commonplace.

The only remaining protester is Global Crossing Ltd. of Bermuda, which had originally won the DREN contract but then lost it following an earlier round of protests.

DISA said WorldCom met all of the criteria and was found to offer the best value to the government.

'For the government, the easiest selection decision to make is when the most advantageous proposal conforming to the RFP material requirements has the highest technical rating and also has the lowest price or cost,' wrote William L. Mayers, a lawyer for DISA, in a response the agency filed with GAO.

GAO officials will rule on Global Crossing's protest by July 22, Gordon said.

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