PAE continues fight over incumbent $1.3B CBP contract

Protest goes to court

The fight over a potential $1.3 billion aircraft maintenance contract with the Customs and Border Protection Agency will now play out in the courts.

PAE saw its protest over the loss of that incumbent contract denied on June 9 by the Government Accountability Office, then filed a currently-sealed lawsuit five days later at the Court of Federal Claims.

A separate motion for a protective order filed by PAE on June 14 points to the lawsuit as following GAO’s decision, according to the court docket. A spokesman for PAE declined comment.

CBP made its third and most recent attempt at awarding the potential 10-year contract in January with a proposal from the former DynCorp International selected. DynCorp was acquired by Amentum late last year.

Whichever company ends up the winner of the National Aviation Maintenance and Logistics Support contract will help CBP maintain its fleet of nearly 200 planes used for missions involving detection, tracking, surveillance, threat resolution, and interdiction of suspect general aviation aircraft.

PAE has held the work since 2009, according to Deltek data. In May 2019, CBP made its first attempt at the award of the recompete contract and selected the DynCorp proposal.

Protest number one followed from PAE, then CBP pulled the award back to re-evaluate proposals and let bidders make revisions. CBP then made award attempt number two in May 2020 and chose PAE that time.

DynCorp then followed with a protest of its own that zeroed in on the corrective action, which was denied by GAO. All of which brings the situation to what is essentially the third cycle of protests, though CBP will defend this source selection in front of a federal judge.

Like the lawsuit: GAO’s decision to deny PAE’s recent protest remains sealed under a protective order pending negotiations between the legal teams representing that company, Amentum and CBP on what details can be released.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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