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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

URS files protest over lost $252M SEC contract

URS Federal Services Inc. filed a protest this week over a contract it lost to CSRA Inc. to manage the IT infrastructure for the Securities & Exchange Commission.

URS – now part of AECOM – has been supporting the SEC since at least 2009 when Apptis won a contract to provide infrastructure support. URS later acquired Apptis, and last year, AECOM acquired URS.

When the $252.6 million contract came up for a recompete, URS faced off against SRA International. By the time the contract was awarded in late January, SRA had become part of CSRA, the new company formed when Computer Sciences Corp. spun out its public sector business and acquired SRA at the same time.

In today’s market, incumbents face growing pressure, so it isn’t a surprise to see URS lose the contract, just as it isn’t a surprise that they are protesting.

The protest does several things. It stops work from proceeding while the Government Accountability Office hears the case. While work is stopped, URS will continue to support the SEC. So, in essence, the protest extends the company’s contract.

While GAO hears the case, there is a possibility that SEC would pull back the award and take a corrective action, which can range from restarting the procurement to simply taking a second look at proposals.

Either way, it is no guarantee that the protester will suddenly be the winner, but it does give them another shot.

And this stage, URS is fighting for a second chance to win the contract. If no corrective action is taken – usually in the first 30 days – a decision from GAO isn’t expected until May 18.

For CSRA, the win is noteworthy for more than just the quarter of a billion dollar price tag. Neither SRA nor CSC had much of a presence at SEC, so the win represents a significant inroad to a new customer.

The scope of work under the contract covers four task areas: operations, infrastructure, architecture and common services. The work will support daily IT operations at SEC headquarters, data centers and 11 regional offices with 6,000 users.

The contract also has a two-year base and eight one-year options.

So, whether it is CSRA or URS, it’s an important contract that neither are going walk away from without a fight.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 09, 2016 at 9:26 AM

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