CACI loses fight to keep intell contract

Bid protest falls short with GAO denial

A bid protest by CACI International Inc. over the loss of one of its contracts with the Defense Intelligence Agency was denied by the Government Accountability Office.

CACI alleged that Mission Essential Personnel misrepresented the personnel it would use on the contract to outscore CACI, the incumbent on a contract with DIA to intelligence analysts.

The contract is used by the DIA for counter-terrorism analysts and experts who support the Defense Department and the Office of Military Commissions and the Justice Department with litigation and document reviews involving detainees and former detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

CACI said that Mission Essential Personnel tried to recruit five CACI employees supporting DIA on the incumbent contract to join the company and continue working. The attempt to so quickly recruit the CACI personnel showed that Mission Essential Personnel was using “bait and switch” tactic.

Mission Essential Personnel had people in its proposal that it knew would not be available, so it had to recruit the CACI employees, CACI said its protest.

While such a move could be grounds for a sustained protest, CACI didn’t present any evidence that Mission Essential Personnel’s employees were not available. “It is neither unusual nor inherently improper for an awardee to recruit and hire personnel previously employed by an incumbent contractor,” GAO wrote in its decision.

The availability of key personnel also was at the heart of CACI’s contention that Mission Essential Personnel received too high a score for its technical proposal. CACI said that DIA relaxed the importance of personnel availability for a surge capability in giving Mission Essential Personnel an outstanding technical rating.

But DIA told GAO that the surge requirement was a future capability so the personnel availability was not a factor.

GAO said that the solicitation also does not require evidence of personnel availability for the surge option.

The oversight agency said it could find no reason to sustain CACI’s protest.

According to GAO documents, CACI bid $86.5 million compared to Mission Essential Personnel's bid of $79.1 million.

While the two companies had comparable scores, DIA told GAO that it couldn't justify paying CACI a $7 million premium over Mission Essential Personnel's bid.


About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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