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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Perspecta continues fight for both its biggest contract and a second large one

Perspecta certainly isn't shy about fighting for a contract or two.

In fact, on consecutive business days, the company filed protests involving the Navy NGEN network services contract won by Leidos and the Defense Department’s DEOS email migration award. Both have ceilings in the multiple billions of dollars.

First of note is the potential $7.7 billion NGEN contract that Perspecta is the main incumbent for. NGEN accounts for between 15 percent and 20 percent of Perspecta’s revenue. General Dynamics IT, another competitor for NGEN, also has filed its own protest.

Contract number two in Perspecta's sights is the potential $7.6 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions award, also known as DEOS, for cloud-based email and collaboration tools. GDIT was selected in August for the contract that is being managed by the General Services Administration. Perspecta filed a protest and then in October, GSA and DOD took a corrective action to make changes to the solicitation and take in revised bids.

An award had been anticipated for sometime this quarter. But now Perspecta has filed a new DEOS protest and said in a statement to Washington Technology that proprietary information about its pricing from its proposal was improperly disclosed to GDIT.

The government knows about the disclosure, Perspecta said, and the company also says there is an ongoing investigation about another disclosure of its total evaluated price.

Here’s the key part of Perspecta's statement:

The government’s acknowledgment of the improper disclosure of Perspecta’s highly confidential, competitively useful, detailed pricing information to the only other competitor, coupled with a previous, damaging, and improper disclosure of our total evaluated price that the government is currently investigating, has left us with no choice but to file a pre-award protest to ensure that the government takes the necessary actions to ensure a fair and proper procurement.

This indicates to me that Perspecta is putting a stake in the ground about what it sees as problems with how GSA is managing the DEOS procurement for DOD. The contract is being awarded through the GSA Schedule as a blanket purchase agreement.

There is a chance that the Government Accountability Office will say it is premature to file this protest  -- like it did with a this recent protest by Leidos – but it seems that Perspecta doesn’t want to risk being told that it is too late to protest, it if waits to raise these concerns until after an award.

GDIT declined to comment on both Perspecta’s protest and the statement. Perspecta also declined to further elaborate its statement.

But in reading the new Perspecta statement, it appears that some of the allegations refer to the first round of competition for DEOS. I’m specifically looking at the use of the word “previous.” Perspecta’s complaint might fall short if the pricing part of the solicitation was significantly reworked. GSA could argue that the disclosure doesn’t hurt Perspecta because the parameters have changed.

That could be GSA’s argument. But it seems the bigger and more serious issue that needs to be explored is how and why GSA disclosed one contractor’s proprietary information to a competitor.

GSA and DOD declined to comment on the Perspecta protest or the statement.

Perspecta filed the protest March 6 and a GAO decision is expected June 15.

But I don't know much about Perspecta's protest involving NGEN and the company declined to comment on that case.

After Leidos won, GDIT filed the first protest and argued that the evaluation was not done properly. Perspecta’s protest might make the same argument but also could raise other grounds as well.

If those protests are similar enough, GAO will likely bundle the two into a single decision. If they aren’t largely similar, GAO will issue separate decisions.

The GAO docket says that GDIT filed its NGEN protest on March 4 and a decision is expected by June 12. Perspecta filed March 9 and a decision is expected by June 17.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:40 AM

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