GAO sustains protests of Army ITES-2S contract

Army must decide on 'corrective measures'

The Army may have to go back to the drawing board on its $20 billion IT Enterprise Solutions-2 Services contract.

After five losing bidders filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office, claiming improper technical cost evaluations, the watchdog agency sided with the protesters.

GAO lawyers recommended the Army take corrective action on the ITES-2S program.

In the spring, the Army awarded contracts to 11 vendors. Later, after protests were filed, an Army Source Selection Authority upheld that decision in July.

The redacted GAO report is here.

But, Michael Golden, GAO's associate general counsel, said, 'It's a recommendation and they'll have to take some corrective measures.'

GAO recommended the Army reopen discussions with all of the ITES-2S bidders and request revised proposals. The agency may then determine the number of awards deemed appropriate, Golden said. GAO also recommended that the Army reimburse the five protestors the amount it cost to file their protests.

'If the evaluation of revised proposals results in a determination that one or more of the current awardees' proposals no longer represents the best value to the government, the agency should terminate the contracts,' Golden said.

The Army has until Dec. 24 to respond to GAO's recommendations, he added.

Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for enterprise information systems, called GAO's findings disappointing.

'We're disappointed. We're just analyzing what our next step will be,' Carroll said.

The five companies that lodged protests include: BAE Systems North America Inc. of Rockville, Md.; Multimax Inc. of Largo, Md.; NCI Information Systems Inc. of Reston, Va.; Northrop Grumman Corp.; and Pragmatics Inc. of McLean, Va.

ITES-2S is a consolidated contract vehicle for products and services, and serves as a follow-on to the original ITES-Enterprise Mission Support Services Solutions contracts. Services under ITES-2S include business process re-engineering, information systems security, information assurance, IT services, network support, systems operations and maintenance, program management, enterprise design, integration and consolidation, and education and training.

The Army, Defense Department and other federal agencies are authorized to order from ITES-2S by issuing individual task orders.

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