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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Booz Allen loses ICE contract after not fully detailing exit strategy

Booz Allen Hamilton was neck and neck in its competition with Deloitte to win a $50 million Homeland Security Department contract for systems and analysis program management support.

But the company fell short in an area DHS deemed critical – how it would transition away from the contract if it lost the recompete in 2025, according to Government Accountability Office decision denying Booz Allen’s protest.

Booz Allen filed its protest after Deloitte won the contract with a bid worth $50.4 million to support Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Law Enforcement Systems & Analysis program, known as LESA. Booz Allen put in a $44.7 million bid.

The companies had identical scores for relevant experience (High Confidence) and administrative proposals, which both received a "Yes" rating.

But Booz Allen received a "Some Confidence" rating compared to Deloitte’s "High Confidence" rating for its oral presentation.

Under a best value trade-off scenario, DHS saw that difference as enough to pay the higher price for Deloitte.

In the GAO decision, Booz Allen’s bid was dinged by the evaluators because the firm didn’t spend enough time explaining how it would transition out of the contract in 2025 if they lost the recompete.

In their protest, Booz Allen said that DHS didn’t adequately document the oral presentation but GAO said the procurement didn’t support that.

According to the solicitation, bidders needed to address five questions in the oral presentations and one of those questions was to describe an “implementable transition plan” that would mitigate risk to LESA.

While Booz Allen described how it would transition in to do the work but said because of time constraints during the orals it didn’t go through each specific task of a transition out. The company also argued that DHS ignored or failed to understand its transition plan.

But GAO ruled that Booz Allen failed to “affirmatively demonstrate the merits of its proposal.” Because of this, DHS acted reasonably when it gave the company the lower score that led to the award to Deloitte.

I guess Booz Allen needed to prepare to lose in order to win the contract in the first place.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 05, 2021 at 11:36 AM


Reader Comments

Fri, Jan 8, 2021 Sgt_elle

I'm wondering why journalists these days think it does them any favors to insert their personal opinions in an article. The last sentence was not necessary and while the author may have thought it was clever or funny, it was just annoying.

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