What if Unisys is right to protest the TSA contract?
With Unisys Corp.’s latest protest of the Transportation Security Administration’s infrastructure contract
, the grumblings in the marketplace are getting louder and more critical of the company.
“WAW!” as one commenter said on our website.
And I have to admit part of me thinks Unisys is being a sore loser, and that it should take its lumps and go home.
One of the common thoughts is that because Unisys is the incumbent, it has a financial interest in delaying the transition of the contract to a new prime. The more roadblocks Unisys puts in the way, the longer it has TSA as a customer and the more money it makes.
Damn the taxpayer, Unisys wants to get paid, is a common theme of comments I’ve been receiving.
But what if the opposite is true? What if Unisys is the hero of this story? What if the company is more Atticus Finch than Simon Legree and is fighting for a noble though doomed cause?
I read the Government Accountability Office Jan. 20 ruling
that told TSA to re-evaluate bids. I can’t claim any special expertise, but GAO does make some disturbing claims against TSA, particularly how it evaluated pricing and gave incorrect or misleading information to the losing bidders.
After reevaluating the bids, TSA again picked Computer Sciences Corp. and again Unisys protested
In its brief statement, Unisys says: “We believe the process was not conducted in accordance with the request for proposals and the guidelines GAO issued earlier this year.”
If that is true and TSA is not following the rules, don’t we want Unisys to stand up and cry foul? Isn’t that the right thing to do?
Some in the market say that Unisys’ protests are acts of desperation because the loss of this contract likely will spell the end of Unisys’ federal business. Unisys had $666.3 million in prime contracts in fiscal 2009, so I doubt the loss of the TSA work would wipe out the company.
I guess only time will tell if this is desperation or principle, or something else entirely.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 02, 2010 at 9:43 AM