EDS challenges GSA's contracts for E-Travel

The General Services Administration's $450 million procurement for a new civilian electronic travel system is under protest by a losing bidder.

EDS Corp. filed a petition with the General Accounting Office Aug. 29 asking that work on the 10-year project stop until the audit agency decides whether GSA properly evaluated the offers.

GSA awarded two contracts Aug. 15 to Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel Inc. of San Antonio and the Mission Systems unit of Northrop Grumman Corp. The two vendors are to supply end-to-end systems for everything from processing travel authorizations and making reservations to submitting claims and reconciling vouchers.

EDS spokesman Kevin Clarke said GSA's evaluation came up short in three areas: lowest overall cost, which he said EDS offered; an outstanding evaluation by GSA of Northrop's technical and past performance although it had been over-budget and off-schedule as a Defense Travel System contractor; and an extra opportunity for one bidder to demonstrate its system without EDS having had the same chance.

GAO has until Dec. 8 to render a decision.

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