GAO denies SAIC protest of Defense IT contract

Tuesday - 10/2/2012, 4:18pm EDT

A massive contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in June to manage the Defense Information Systems Agency's Global Information Grid remains in place after the Government Accountability Office denied a bid protest from fellow contractor SAIC.

Shortly after DISA awarded the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract — worth up to $1.9 billion in the first three years and as much as $4.6 billion over seven years — SAIC filed a protest with GAO.

SAIC claimed DISA had "unreasonably evaluated" the technical risk and the price cited by Lockheed in its bid for the work and did not "meaningfully investigate" whether Lockheed had unequal access to information due to an organizational conflict of interest (OCI), according to a statement from Ralph White, GAO's managing associate general counsel for procurement law.

GAO denied both counts, "concluding that the record reflected that the agency's evaluation of Lockheed's proposal was reasonable and consistent with (the) solicitation's evaluation criteria," according to White's statement. "GAO also concluded that the agency reasonably investigated Lockheed's alleged OCI."

SAIC had managed an earlier version of the Global Information Grid (GIG) Services Management-Operations (GSM-O) contract since 2001 — its single largest contact, Bloomberg News reported at the time the new contract was awarded.

In an emailed statement, Gerry Fasano, president of Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions-Defense unit said DISA "conducted a highly competitive and comprehensive bidding process" for the GSM-O contract and his company submitted an "affordable and innovative solution."

Fasano also said the company remained "transition-ready" during the protest period.

An SAIC spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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