Court unseals Perspecta's NGEN complaint

Details of Perspecta's lawsuit over the Navy's NGEN network services contract is now somewhat public and a relatively quicker resolution is desired.

In typical fashion, black bars for redactions are all across Perspecta’s now unsealed 87-page complaint to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims over how the Navy awarded the potential $7.7 billion NGEN network services contract to Leidos.

Still sealed for instance are many details about the former Navy employee Leidos hired that Perspecta believes created an organizational conflict of interest and gave Leidos a competitive advantage in its bid. Under the black bar is the name, position and title that person held while in government.

But the arguments about said alleged unfair advantage that are not redacted, along with claims of how the bid evaluations went down, also give more of a glimpse at how Perspecta plans to make its case in court that the NGEN-Recompete contract should either go to them or go back to square one.

Oral arguments are scheduled to take place Oct. 28. The government is due to respond to this complaint and a subsequent motion for judgment from Perspecta by Sept. 30.

One item of ongoing discussion is taking place between Perspecta and the Justice Department regarding a stay in performance on the awarded contract to Leidos. The idea behind that is to get in place an expedited schedule for the protest and avoid a potential temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.

The current contract for NGEN’s services work expires at the end of December, but Perspecta and the Navy are discussing an extension through at least June of next year and potentially three months more afterward.

What can be seen about the former government employee now working for Leidos? This person was for two-and-a-half years the top assistant to the commanding officer for the Navy’s SPAWAR organization responsible for the Next Generation Enterprise Network, the global intranet used by the Navy and Marine Corps.

Chantilly, Virginia-based Perspecta calls that person the new NGEN-R program manager and division manager for Leidos and “at the helm” of the latter’s capture effort. While working at SPAWAR, the person appears to have helped facilitate meetings between SPAWAR leadership and incumbent Perspecta on matters pertaining to performance on the current contract.

Like in its since-denied protest to the Government Accountability Office, Perspecta essentially alleges the Navy did not look hard enough at the situation to determine if there was a conflict and unfair advantage in the recompete because the former employee now works for Leidos.

The Navy’s NGEN-R contracting officer did conduct an investigation into the issue and concluded the person was not a member of either team pursuing the award. But Perspecta alleges the investigation did not follow up on an admission by this person that he had access to an email inbox that has information about performance on the incumbent contract.

Perspecta also is claiming its proposal was not evaluated correctly and that bid was assigned weaknesses where they should not have been. Many specifics on those assigned weaknesses are under the black bars.

According to Perspecta, that former Navy official joined Leidos in 2016 but was still with the Navy when planning for NGEN-R was ramping up.