A bit of insight on Perspecta's NGEN protest

Perspecta's protest of the NGEN contract includes allegations of organizational conflicts of interest.

Perspecta filed a protest earlier this week challenging Leidos’ Navy NGEN victory and their challenge hits all aspects of how the Navy evaluated proposals for the $7.7 billion contract.

The protest is very similar to the challenge filed by General Dynamics IT, the third bidder for the contract run the Navy’s IT infrastructure. But Perspecta has added allegation that apparently isn’t part of GDIT’s.

Perspecta is challenging the technical evaluations, past performance, pricing, and the discussions the Navy conducted with bidders. This apparently lines up with GDIT’s protest.

But a source indicated to me that Perspecta also is claiming that Leidos has an organizational conflict of interest issue that gave Leidos an unfair advantage.

In government contracting there are three recognized types of OCIs :

  • Impaired objectivity – For example, where a company either is evaluating its own performance or the performance of a competitor; a.
  • Biased-ground rules – Where a contractor helps set the ground rules for a competition. For example, a contractor that helps prepare a work statement used in a competition, it cannot compete to provide those services.
  • Unequal access to information – This is when a contractor gains access to nonpublic information that is competitively useful. For example, a competitor’s proprietary information or confidential government information.

I don’t know for sure which of these Perspecta is alleging, but looking at these definitions, it’s easy to cross out two of them. I don’t see Leidos being involved in evaluating competitors and I don’t see it helping to establish a work statement or other specifications, so that eliminates impaired objectivity and biased-ground rules.

So most likely, Perspecta is alleging unequal access to information, that Leidos got some sort information that other competitors didn’t have.

 We’ll have to see how close I am as the protest moves through the process.

The company filed its protest March 9. A decision is due June 17.

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