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Hughes faces risk of its own bid protest

Hughes Network Systems' protest of a satellite contract awarded to Artel might be shaping up into a lesson of “be careful what you wish for.”

Hughes lost the contract to supply satellite communications services to the Social Security Administration and filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office. When Social Security said they would take a second look and re-evaluate bids, GAO dismissed the protest without ruling on its merits.

But Hughes quickly filed a new protest after learning more details about the corrective action Social Security is planning.

It seems, according to a source, that Social Security is doing more than Hughes thinks is necessary. The agency plans to reopen discussions with the bidders and let bidders revise proposals, followed by a new evaluation of the bids.

Hughes' new protest is challenging the depth of that approach.

The big risk is that the process Social Security is pursuing could drive the pricing on contract even lower.

A decision from GAO is expected by Aug. 14.

Hughes is the incumbent on the contract since 2008, and it has been a steady source of work. The total to date is $26.8 million, according to Deltek.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 08, 2014 at 7:15 AM


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