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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Peraton challenges $655M Air Force space award

Peraton is hoping for a second shot at a $655 million contract to support Air Force’s space mission through ground services.

Engility, now part of Science Applications International Corp., won the contract in a takeaway from incumbent Lockheed Martin. No word yet on whether Lockheed will protest the Engineering Development Integration and Sustainment Contract, known as EDIS.

Peraton is challenging how the Air Force evaluated proposals and how it conducted the best-value tradeoff. Essentially, if the evaluation and the best-value trade-off had been conducted properly, the Air Force would have picked Peraton.

Engility won the contract on Jan. 31 and Peraton filed its protest on March 5. That gap is noteworthy because it indicates that the Air Force was following the enhanced debriefing process outlined in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

Rather than the traditional 10-day window to file a protest after debriefing, the enhanced debriefing process includes other steps and encourages more interaction between the government and the losing bidders. The thought here is that the higher quality the debriefing, the less likelihood of a protest. And the better the information the losing bidder gleans from the debriefing.

This enhanced debriefing process gives bidders two business days after the debriefing to submit follow-up questions. The agency has to respond in writing within five business days of getting the questions.

The debriefing isn’t considered closed until the written answers are submitted. Only then does the 10-day clock start ticking for the losing bidder to file the protest.

It is unclear if Peraton got as much out of the enhanced debriefing as the creators hoped. They obviously didn’t get satisfaction because they’ve filed their protest.

But EDIS has a large price tag at $655 million over seven years, according to Deltek. Lockheed has held the contract since 1996 so this is a good takeaway for Engility.

EDIS is a little different from its predecessors in that the Air Force expanded the scope of the contract to support the Space Enterprise Vision and the related Enterprise Ground Services requirements. The Space Enterprise Vision is the Air Force’s strategy to improve the resiliency of the space domain in case a conflict extends into space.

Peraton filed its protest March 7. A Government Accountability Office decision is expected by June 13.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 08, 2019 at 9:58 AM

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