Lockheed's $2B polar project under attack

CH2M Hill Antarctic Support, Inc. is protesting a $2 billion contract won by Lockheed Martin Corp. to support the U.S. Antarctic Research program in the South Pole.

The Englewood, Colo.-based company submitted an appeal on Jan. 9, according to Government Accountability Office’s Bid Protest docket.

GAO now has 30 days to provide a report addressing the protest arguments. CH2M Hill then must file comments responding to the report within 10 days of receiving it. After the comment period, GAO can request additional filings from the parties, conduct alternative dispute resolution, or hold a hearing.

A decision is due by April 18, the docket said.

The National Science Foundation announced its selection of Lockheed Martin in late December.

The contract is to provide logistical support and implement infrastructure for the three workstations located in the South Pole, McMurdo and Palmer. The work runs the gamut from keeping computer networks running in the harsh conditions, to installing light bulbs and bringing in food and supplies. The full scope of support has been described as like operating a small town.

Officials at Lockheed Martin declined to comment on the protest.

CH2M Hill, which previously has provided cold weather support to NSF in the Arctic, made the decision to file a protest based on information it received from the agency during a Jan. 5. debrief.

“CH2M HILL Antarctic Support, Inc. is disappointed with result of the NSF's selection process for the Antarctic Support Contract,” the company said in a statement.

“The ASC is a top priority for our firm and we assembled a highly qualified and committed leadership team for the program who remain dedicated to serving the NSF on this important contract. CH2M HILL values our people as our most important asset and we are inspired by our team's enduring dedication to this effort,” it continued.

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

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