NGEN bid protest update

The clock is running on the bid protest of the Navy's $3.5 billion NGEN award. First up is the Navy's response to filings by Harris and CSC.

The Government Accountability Office expects the Navy to respond to bid protests against its Next Generation Enterprise Network award to Hewlett-Packard Co. by Aug. 14.

Harris Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp., the two protesters of the $3.5 billion NGEN contract, will then have 10 days to respond to the Navy’s response.

After that a hearing could be held, or not, a GAO official told me. The deadline for GAO’s decision is Oct. 23.

The grounds for the protest are still murky but because it is a lowest price, technically acceptable contract, the most likely argument is that the price HP bid was too risky to meet the requirements.

But a resolution could come before Oct. 23 for several reasons:

  • The Navy could decide to take a corrective action on its own, and pull back its award decision, but I think that is highly unlikely. They practically bragged that they can beat back any protests.
  • HP could create space on its team for Harris and CSC, but again, I think that’s unlikely.
  • Harris and CSC could decide to stop pursuing the bid, also highly unlikely.

I think we are into this fight until the end.

In a bit of somewhat related news, has a story this week about the firing of NGEN program manager Capt. Shawn Hendricks. He was having an affair with a subordinate, who was an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton.

Navy Times obtained the report on the investigation of Hendricks via a Freedom of Information Act request.

In this age of Anthony Weiner and sexting, Hendricks' story of a fall from grace is rather old fashioned; he had a troubled marriage, and he fell in love with someone else.

Of course, the affair was with a subordinate and he maintained that the relationship between the two was innocent, something the inspector general called a “charade.” Those are huge no-no’s in the military, and probably would have gotten him fired in the corporate world, as well.

Hendricks was removed from his role as NGEN program manager just days before the award to HP was announced. The IG found no evidence that the relationship affected the award decision.