GAO Tells Social Security to Recompete Contract

The Social Security Administration will have to recompete a $100 million contract it awarded to WorldCom Inc. in October 2000, following a ruling against the agency by the General Accounting Office, GAO and Rockwell officials said April 24.

This is the second time the GAO has sided with Rockwell International Corp., which filed a protest against Social Security's decision to award WorldCom a contract for a nationwide network-based call distribution system.

Rockwell, based in Milwaukee, filed its protest shortly after the contract award, disputing the way Social Security accounted for costs associated with connecting the proposed system into services provided through FTS2001, the governmentwide long-distance telecommunications contract.

GAO first sustained Rockwell's protest Dec. 14. WorldCom of Clinton, Miss., one of the two FTS2001 contractors, joined Social Security in asking that GAO reconsider its decision.

The text of the GAO decision denying the agency's appeal has not yet been released. Dan Gordon, a GAO attorney, said these rulings are not usually released, because the original decisions are made available. In this case, there also is competitive information contained in the ruling that the involved parties are negotiating for redaction, he said.

"Now that the GAO has reiterated its ruling that the Social Security Administration should reopen the competition under an amended solicitation, Rockwell hopes that this process will be accomplished expeditiously, and looks forward to the opportunity for submitting a competitive proposal," said Steve Kuehn, a spokesman for Rockwell Electronic Commerce.

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