Avue objects to Lockheed's TSA win

Avue Technologies Corp. has filed a protest against the Transportation Security Administration's recent award of a $1.2 billion human resources contract to Lockheed Martin Corp., Avue announced.

Avue Technologies Corp., of Tacoma, Wash., submitted a protest with the Government Accountability Office and with the Federal Aviation Administration, said a company spokesman. Its filings were made in conjunction with one of its resellers, Carahsoft Technology Corp., of Reston, Va.

Avue, which is a private sector human resources shared service center for the federal government, said it objected to TSA's award of the Integrated Hiring Operations and Personnel Program to Lockheed Martin.

Avue is alleging that TSA did not follow procurement rules, including proper evaluation of pricing, and did not appropriately consider the merits of a federal line of business credential in the decision. Avue said it is a certified private sector shared service center under the federal human resources line of business framework, and Lockheed Martin is not.

However, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman said the company's proposal met the requirements for bidding. "Our proposal was completely compliant with TSA's requirements, and we are confident in our ability to deliver an end-to-end human resources system for TSA to support the hiring and retaining of qualified personnel to carry out the agency's critical missions," said Emily Simone, a spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin.

Avue executives also asserted that TSA's decision will result in excess costs.

"TSA's failure to apply the competition framework established jointly by the Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget places a significant burden on OMB's ability to prove the merits of the HR LOB initiative," Linda Rix, co-chief executive of Avue, said in a news release.

"In the business case underlying the Human Resources Lines of Business framework, OMB asserts a return on investment of approximately $1 billion over ten years. The unnecessary expenditures associated with this award alone will wipe out that return," Rix said.

Avue also alleged a violation in TSA's actions to more than double the potential size of the award from $1.2 billion to $3 billion to cover Homeland Security Department headquarters operations. TSA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Previously made up of parts of the Transportation Department, TSA was formed and became part of the Homeland Security Department when it opened in 2003. When a procurement protest relates to an activity that occurred prior to 2003, the protest sometimes is filed with the FAA in addition to the GAO.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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