Booz Allen's fight for Air Force mission IT contract is over Witthaya Prasongsin

Air Force North will proceed on the program supporting deployed systems and special programs.

Booz Allen Hamilton’s battle for an Air Force IT support contract has apparently came to an end as the Government Accountability Office denied what should be the company’s last protest.

General Dynamics IT won the $64 million task order in August 2021 to support mission deployed systems and special programs for Air Force North at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

The Air Force has chosen GDIT twice and Booz Allen challenged the award both times.

In its first protest, Booz Allen had some early success when the Air Force pulled back the award and took a corrective action. GAO told the Air Force the ruling would likely favor the company.

Booz Allen also challenged the corrective action, claiming it didn’t address all of their concerns.

The company filed another protest to recoup its costs because the Air Force took the corrective action so late in the process. GAO agreed and told the Air Force to reimburse Booz Allen’s costs.

But GAO dismissed the protest over the corrective action because Booz Allen couldn’t argue that move was inadequate until after an award was made.

Booz Allen filed another protest after the Air Force again picked GDIT.

Four main arguments summarize Booz Allen's second challenge:

  • Reevaluating GDIT’s proposal under the technical approach factor was unreasonable.
  • The reevaluation of Booz Allen’s past performance was unreasonable.
  • The Air Force engaged in misleading and unequal discussions involving past performance.
  • The best-value trade off to support the award decision was unreasonable.

GAO denied all four points.

The decision has not been released yet so a lot of details are not available. Booz Allen declined to comment.

But with the denial, Booz Allen has reached the end of the road for this protest.

Companies cannot protests task orders at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and relitigate an award.

The contract in dispute here is not a large one when considering the size of Booz Allen and GDIT.

But look at the customer instead. Air Force North is attached to the Northern Command, which is responsible for the defense of the contiguous U.S.

Air Force North also is part of the Space Command and on top of that also supports NASA’s human space flight programs.

A pretty wide-ranging customer to have.