GSA opts out of BearingPoint HSPD-12 deal

The General Service Administration has announced that it will not exercise the remaining options under a contested contract providing Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 services to its shared-services provider customers.

Instead, the agency wants to recompete the deal, which will now expire Jan. 7, 2007, because of changes in the HSPD-12 products and services marketplace.

GSA officials stressed that its decision regarding the contract with BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., was not related to the company's performance, as the agency's Managed Services Office was able to issue new identification cards by Oct. 27, as mandated by the Office of Management and Budget.

"GSA believes that this competition will serve to reduce prices, minimize risk and improve service to its customer agencies," GSA said in a statement. "This voluntary action demonstrates GSA's commitment to use maximum competition and multiple sources in its procurement activities to provide excellent service to its customer agencies."

BearingPoint's solution will remain under consideration as GSA considers its next steps, the agency said.

"We welcome the competition," Steve Lunceford, BearingPoint spokesman, said. "We think we've got one of the most robust and strongest" HSPD-12 platforms and "we're more than ready" to compete.

GSA awarded the five-year, $104 million contract in August. The deal contained multiple options and milestones that gave GSA the opportunity to either continue with the agreement or change course.

Under the agreement, BearingPoint helped the agency set up card enrollment and issuance stations in Washington, St. Louis, Seattle and New York City prior to the Oct. 27 deadline. Officials said the stations are operational.

BearingPoint will continue manning the stations through Jan. 7.

The contract came under protest soon after it was awarded because of concerns of how GSA managed the procurement process.

A Government Accountability Office official said it was too early to determine whether GSA's decision not to continue the BearingPoint contract will impact its investigation into the procurement.

Rob Thormeyer is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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