WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

Blog archive
Nick Wakeman

GAO sides with incumbent in pricing dispute

ENSCO has successfully fought off a challenger to an incumbent contract it holds for assessing nuclear weapons systems.

The victory isn’t final as the Government Accountability Office is telling the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to re-evaluate bids but it is a positive step for the Falls Church, Virginia, company.

The contract worth $61.8 million has gone through two rounds of protests and each time ENSCO has prevailed but this one is covers the most substantive issues. The first protest was successful because the winning contractor CENTRA had exceeded the page limit set in the solicitation.

When they won the contract a second time, ENSCO challenged DITRA’s cost realism evaluation.

The problem, according to GAO, was that DITRA applied the cost realism evaluation unevenly and in a way that damaged ENSCO’s standing in the competition.

DITRA uses the contract for a variety of support services for what it calls ‘balanced survivability assessments” of nuclear weapons systems. Services include evaluating mission systems, networks, architecture, infrastructure and assets.

In the evaluation, costs were not be rated or scored but they were to be evaluated for realism, reasonableness and completeness.

DITRA determined that ENSCO’s probable cost was $79.9 million compared to CENTRA’s cost of $61.9 million. ENSCO’s management approach was rated higher with an “outstanding” score, compared to CENTRA’s “good.”

ENSCO argued that DITRA failed to properly assess CENTRA’s lower labor rates, despite the fact that CENTRA planned to recruit ENSCO’s staff. GAO agreed saying that DITRA never considered the impact on recruitment of CENTRA’s lower labor rates.

DITRA also adjusted ENSCO’s costs to correspond with Defense Contract Audit Agency-verified rates but failed to do the same thing with CENTRA’s labor rates. The agency conducted no meaningful comparison of CENTRA’s rates, GAO said.

In its recommendation, GAO says that DITRA needs to conduct a new cost realism analysis of the proposals and then conduct a new best-value analysis.

This gives ENSCO another shot at keeping the contract, but while it looks good, it shouldn’t celebrate yet.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:10 AM


Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • VIDEO: Explore the 2019 M&A Trends

    Editor Nick Wakeman interviews Kevin DeSanto of the investment bank KippsDeSanto about the highlights of their annual M&A survey and trends driving acquisitions in the federal space. Read More

  • PROJECT 38 PODCAST

    In our latest Project 38 Podcast, editor Nick Wakeman and senior staff writer Ross Wilkers discuss the major news events so far in 2019 and what major trends are on the horizon. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.