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Competition back on for $1.8B NASA contract

NASA has decided to follow the Government Accountability Office recommendation and reopen the competition for a $1.8 billion contract for health and science support for human space flight missions.

The contract has been the subject of dueling bid protests between Wyle and Science Applications International Corp.

Wyle, the long-time incumbent, won the contract in March 2013, and SAIC protested. NASA took a corrective action and awarded the contract to SAIC, which sparked a protest by Wyle.

GAO sustained Wyle protest on the grounds that NASA didn’t give enough consideration to SAIC’s split into two companies when evaluating the bids. GAO also shot down a NASA request for a reconsideration of its decision.

Defeated on that point, NASA issued a new sources sought notice with comments due this week.

In the notice, NASA effectively restarts the competition asking for input on design and structure of the contract, a draft statement of work, contract type and contract incentives.

Deltek is estimating that the solicitation will be out in July, and an award out in the fall.

So, Wyle has gotten what it wanted – a new opportunity to hang onto the work, which it has continued to do under the old contract while the new one has been in protest limbo.

SAIC, however, has to fight a fight it thought it had won.

“SAIC was of course disappointed and quite frankly disagreed with the GAO’s decision,” the company said in a statement. “We were also surprised by the decision of NASA to revise the requirements and revisit the acquisition strategy.”

The company is “moving forward,” according to the statement, and “will look for the opportunity to provide NASA with the expertise and full capabilities from SAIC and our teammates.”

For some reason, I can’t help but think this contract will be like the movie Groundhog Day, and that we’ll see a repeat of the bid protests when NASA makes an award decision again.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 05, 2014 at 12:37 PM


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