UPDATED: VSE keeps $1.5B contract after Booz Allen protest denied

With a protest cleared up, VSE can begin work on ship transfers.

EDITOR's NOTE: This story was updated to include information on the protesting company and why GAO denied the protest.

VSE Corp. can now begin work on what could be a $1.5 billion contract to help the Navy transfer U.S. vessels to foreign buyers.

The company won a one-year, $277 million contract with the Naval Sea Systems Command in October 2011, but that contract was protested by Booz Allen Hamilton. The contract has option years that could bring four more years of work to the program.

The Government Accountability Office denied the protest, clearing the way for VSE to begin work. The contract is for foreign military sales under the International Fleet Support Program.

Booz Allen had complained that VSE's cost proposal did not comply with the solicitation's requirements and were not realistic. Booz Allen also argued that exchanges between VSE and the Defense Contract Audit Agency to clarify information in VSE's proposal were "discussions" and that the Navy abused its descretion by not holding discussions with all bidders, according to GAO's report.

All of those complaints were dismissed by GAO saying that the Navy properly evaluated the costs. The contact between VSE and DCCA were only to clarify information already in the proposal and were not a discussion. As for the Navy not holding discussions, GAO said that the solicitation stated that the Navy would not hold discussions.

Now that work is moving forward, VSE’s team includes: Raytheon; Science Applications International Corp.; Thales Naval Inc.; Lockheed Martin; Computer Sciences Corp.; BAE Systems; General Dynamics; DRS Technologies (a Finmeccanica company); Gibbs & Cox Inc.; CDI Marine Co.; American Systems Corp.; Propulsion Controls Engineering; George G. Sharp Inc.; Colonna’s Shipyard Inc.; McKean Defense Group LLC; Phoenix Group; Sullivan & Associates Inc.; Atlantic Ordnance International; 3Phoenix Inc.; Logistics Support Inc.; Delex Systems; the GBS Group; Gryphon Technologies; Valkyrie Inc.; the McHenry Management Group; HEBCO; Walashek Inc.; Detyens Shipyard Inc.; ESN Inc.; Guam Industrial Services Inc.; and Orion Solutions LLC.

VSE’s Naval Ship Transfer and Repair, or N*STAR, team will provide services including design, configuration management, field engineering, maintenance planning, maintenance, spare parts support, training, and depot-level repair.