Jacobs scores big to kick off 2018

Jacobs Technology has prevailed in a pair of bid protests involving contracts worth $1.3 billion combined.

Talk about a great way to start your year.

Jacobs Technology has prevailed in a pair of bid protests involving single-award contracts worth a combined $1.3 billion.

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Government Accountability Office's decision to deny a protest by American Systems for a $480 million Defense Information Systems Agency contract.

Today, GAO released a decision denying protests by CACI International and General Dynamics over a five-year, $778.6 million Special Operations Command contract won by Jacobs.

Interestingly, in both cases the protesting companies argued that Jacobs had an organizational conflict-of-interest.

In both the DISA contract and the Special Operations Command contract, the government consolidated multiple contracts into a single vehicle.

According to Deltek, the incumbents on Socom's Special Operations Forces Information Technology Enterprise Contract also known as SITEC I were:

  • CACI on a distributed computing contract (inherited from the acquisition of L3 Technologies' former IT business)
  • General Dynamics on an enterprise networks contract
  • Hewlett-Packard on a data center contract

The fourth contract for specialty services included L-3, General Dynamics, Science Applications International Corp. (most likely Leidos) and ARMA-Global (which General Dynamics acquired).

Jacobs is not listed as an incumbent in SITEC I. But in the GAO decision the company is called an incumbent in one of the contract's functional areas known as towers.

In any case, the SITEC II win brings in significant new work for the company. A page on Jacobs’ website invites employees of the defeated incumbents to join Jacobs or at least apply for jobs.

According to Deltek, Leidos filed a protest earlier but it was dismissed. HP did not file a protest.

GAO has not released the decision involving American Systems' protest but the decision denying CACI’s and GD’s protests has been published.

The companies raised seven arguments on why Jacobs should not have been picked as the winner of the contract.

One of those alleged an organizational conflict-of-interest, or OCI. CACI and General Dynamics argued that because Jacobs held the SITEC I contract for IT service maintenance, it had access to performance information on the other SITEC I contractors.

When the government awarded the contract to first time, CACI and General Dynamics protested and the Special Operations Command pulled the award back to consider the OCI allegations.

They awarded the contract a second time to Jacobs and were able to document why they determined that there was no OCI.

The command also said that SITEC I and SITEC II were fundamentally different so Jacobs had no advantage.

You can read more of the legal debate in the decision. But in essence, GAO sided with the Special Operations Command because they documented their process for looking at the possible OCI and making their decision.

The protesters disagree with the conclusion but that is not enough to change GAO’s mind.

Some of the other arguments that were denied include an allegation that the command violated the Procurement Integrity Act because of how a price evaluation was conducted. They also said that an evaluator was biased but GAO said there was no proof and the evaluator recused himself anyway.

They also said there were flaws in how key personnel were evaluated and the command used undisclosed evaluation criteria.

CACI probably had the heaviest lift to be successful in its protest because even if it succeeded in getting Jacobs’ bid disqualified, the award would have gone to General Dynamics because their price was lower than CACI.

Though the contract was not competed as a lowest-price, technically acceptable contract, in essence that is what it became.

GD and Jacobs had identical scores in the areas of technical and management and past performance. But Jacobs bid of $778.6 million was less than $3 million below GD’s bid of $781.3 million. CACI had a lower score for technical and management but its bid was the highest at $818.8 million.

The SITEC II contract was awarded as a task order under the General Services Administration's Alliant contract. That means General Dynamics and CACI are barred from appealing the decision to the Court of Federal Claims.

This one is over folks.