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Nick Wakeman

Protest win doesn't guarantee victory

Just because Smartronix won a bid protest battle doesn’t mean it captured the inside track on the contract.

The company’s protest of a $218.9 million contract that went to Jacobs Technology was sustained at the end of 2015, but the recommendation from the Government Accountability Office was for the Air Force to reconsider its price evaluations, not give the award to Smartronix.

After doing that, the service again awarded the contract for IT technical support weapons and computer systems to Jacobs.

And again, Smartronix has filed a protest. This time, it is objecting to the trade-off analysis and various cost analyses behind the award decision.

The protest was filed June 24, and a decision is expected by Oct. 3.

When the first protests were filed last year, ManTech International also protested. Whether they protest this time as well is unclear. They didn’t return a request for comment.

The contract is being competed under the GSA Alliant vehicle and is for support activities at Elgin, Nellis, Tyndall, Lackland and Creech Air Force bases, as well as Air Force activities at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Jacobs had the lowest bid of any of the bidders when the contract was awarded last year. Smartronix and ManTech questioned the realism of the Jacobs pricing, and GAO agreed that the price evaluation was flawed.

Smartronix also claimed that Jacobs had a conflict of interest, but GAO denied that part of the protest.

Generally, second protests like this are harder to win than the first one because the government generally tightens up the mistakes it made, so time will tell if Smartronix can win or whether the award to Jacobs will stand.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:13 AM


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