GSA HSPD-12 contract with EDS upheld

The General Services Administration's Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 Managed Service Office can finally move forward without concerns.

The Government Accountability Office denied Aug. 6 two protests by unsuccessful bidders of the GSA's $66 million contract to EDS.

"The GAO decision is welcomed, as it allows us to proceed to meet the requirements of the president," said Mike Butler, GSA's managed service office program director. "Over the past two months, the MSO customer base has grown to an estimated 800,000 customers. The system assembly is completing and we expect to provide the first credentials to our customers this month."

Under the 17-month contract with three one-year options, EDS will implement 225 fixed and mobile HSPD-12 enrollment stations nationwide for at least 500,000 federal employees and contractors at more than 42 agencies. GSA also wants EDS to set up 100 enrollment stations with staffing, 100 without and eight mobile stations without staffing in the first year.

This is the second time unsuccessful bidders protested GSA's MSO award. In August 2006, when the agency awarded BearingPoint a $104 million contract, EDS, XTec and Lockheed Martin submitted objections, only to see GSA reopen the contract before GAO made a decision.

In the most recent contract protest, XTec and Computer Literacy World submitted protests to GAO on May 1 that alleged GSA's bid evaluations were faulty. One protest, according to sources, focused on the fact that EDS' team didn't include a vendor approved to provide e-personalization and graphical personalization services ? a contract requirement. The other protest centered on inconsistent evaluation procedures that occurred simultaneously with the request for quotations.

A GAO official would not comment on the decision, saying only that the protests have been denied and are under protective order. GAO will release a redacted version as soon as possible, the official said.

"We thought we had an obvious case of noncompliance, but the government saw it differently," said a Computer Literacy World spokesman. "It is time to move on now."

An XTec spokesman said the company has not see GAO's decision yet so it couldn't comment on it.

"We are surprised with the outcome, especially since GAO had a hearing on one of the issues," the spokesman said. "I think once we see the decision we will decide our next action, if any."

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News and Federal Computer Week, 1105 Government Information Group publications.

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