ITES-3H clears last protest hurdle

The Army's $5 billion ITES-3H contract for hardware and software has cleared its last protest hurdle and should be ready to open for business.

The Government Accountability Office has dismissed a protest by NCS Technologies Inc. after the company complained about not winning a spot on the Army’s $5 billion ITES-3H contract for hardware and software.

I had written earlier that there were no protests, but I was wrong. This one had slipped by me.

NCS filed the protest March 3, but GAO has dismissed the protest as untimely because NCS didn’t file a protest when the company was eliminated from the competitive range during a downselect in 2014.

When the Army made the downselect, 20 companies filed protests. The Army’s decision was upheld by GAO for most of those.

NCS apparently didn’t file a protest then because it was too far down the list in terms of price, a source told me. But when the company saw 17 companies win awards in late February, it decided to file its protest now.

GAO said it was too late and has dismissed the protest.

NCS’s protest was the last outstanding protest involving ITES-3H, and the dismissal should clear the way for the contract to get started.