GAO tells Forest Service to recompete Recreation One-Stop

The Government Accountability Office last week recommended reopening the competition to provide a reservation system for all national parks under the Recreation One-Stop e-government project.

Auditors found the Forest Service made numerous errors after Spherix Inc. of Beltsville, Md., protested the $128 million award to ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y.

The National Recreation Reservation Service will offer centralized shopping for more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves.

Henry Gorczycki, GAO's attorney, said the Forest Service made mistakes in their evaluation and source selection processes, but declined to offer more details because the information is procurement sensitive.

The Forest Service has 60 days to inform GAO whether it will abide by the audit agency's recommendations to reopen the competition.

Richard Levin, Spherix's president, said their bid was $32.6 million lower than ReserveAmerica's. He too would not comment on the specific problems GAO found.

'We think we have a better system that is available now and cheaper,' Levin said. 'If the Forest Service reopens competition, my guess would be that they would hold more discussions and another round of bidding. There are several things they could do, and if it is fair and evaluated properly, we should win.'

Calls to the Forest Service and ReserveAmerica were not returned.

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