SAIC's OCI claims rejected in $193M Army competition Petrus

Peraton is now poised to take over the work on developing survivability systems for Army aircraft.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with new informaiton on GAO's ruling and the conflict of interest allegations it denied.

The Government Accountability Office has rejected the wide-ranging conflict-of-interest allegations leveled by Science Applications International Corp. when it lost an incumbent Army contract.

Peraton won the $193 million Army Project Management Office Aircraft Survivability Equipment task order late last year, then SAIC claimed that Peraton has several organizational conflicts of interest that would have resulted in disqualification.

The Army uses the contract to develop systems that improve the survivability of Army aircraft, including infrared countermeasures and missile warning systems.

Peraton holds a separate support services contract with the Army Program Executive Office – Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors. SAIC argues that means Peraton is deeply involved in all of the PEO’s acquisitions.

PEO-IEW&S manages the Expedited Professional and Engineering Support Services blanket purchase agreement, under which the task order in question was competed.

SAIC alleged Peraton had three types of conflicts of interest because of its position with the PEO: Biased ground rules, unequal access to information and impaired objectivity.

UPDATE: GAO rejected SAIC's imparied objectivity allegations. The company itself withdrew the other allegations during the course of the protest.

GAO also denited SAIC's challenge of how the agency evaluated proposals and conducted a best-value selection decision.

The work will now begin transitioning to Peraton. Because it is a task order, there is no other forum for SAIC to take its protest.

A SAIC spokesperson said the company was disappointed in the ruling but "we continue to be ardent supporters of the U.S. Army modernization and transformation efforts no matter the challenge or domain.”.

GAO will release the written decision after the Army, Peraton and SAIC vet the document for proprietary and other sensitive information.

The fact that SAIC lost the protest should not be surprising given how often GAO rejects conflict of interest allegations, as we reported in 2022.