Navy wins bid protest, ready to move ahead with NGEN program

Friday - 11/1/2013, 4:04am EDT

The Department of the Navy finally is allowed to move to its Next Generation Enterprise Network.

After multiple delays in getting the solicitation to vendors and in making the award, the Navy made it unscathed through the final hurdle — a bid protest.

The Government Accountability Office upheld the Navy's award to HP of the $3.5 billion NGEN contract, according to government and industry sources.

"Now that the protest has been resolved, we are ready to move forward with the implementation of the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract phase of Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) services, which will continue to provide a single, integrated, secure IT environment to more than 800,000 Navy users," said Ed Austin, a spokesman for the Navy program executive officer, enterprise information systems. "We will now be focused on expeditiously managing the transition process from the NMCI Continuity of Services Contract (CoSC) to NGEN."

Harris IT and CSC initially protested the Navy's award to HP in late June.

Industry sources confirmed that GAO found that neither of Harris IT Corp.'s allegations had merit and ruled in favor of the Navy.

Harris had protested to GAO whether HP's price was reasonable. GAO found it was a fair bid.

Harris also protested whether personal problems of Capt. Shawn Hendricks, who led the NGEN program until he was relieved of his duty in June, compromised the program. GAO found it did not.

A request to Harris IT for a comment on GAO's decision was not returned.

A CSC spokeswoman said the company withdrew its protest in August.

The protests forced the Navy to put the NGEN program on hold until GAO made a decision.

Austin said the protest has not had any impact on ongoing NMCI network operations for Navy users. He said the first early transition activities began in January 2010, and full Navy transition planning has been underway for two years.

"Now that the GAO has resolved the protest, the Navy will begin the transition process from the NMCI CoSC contract to the NGEN contract, and a post-award conference will be scheduled with the awardee immediately," he said.

Marilyn Crouther, senior vice president and general manager for HP Enterprise Services, said the company is pleased with GAO's decision.

"The Navy has selected the right team for the challenges ahead, bringing to sailors and Marines new and innovative thinking coupled with more than a decade of experience building and operating the network," Crouther said in an email statement. "Together with the Navy, the team at HP is excited to move the throttle forward on NGEN and take this network into the future."

HP, which bought EDS, runs the NMCI and continuity of services contract, which has been worth more than $6 billion over the last decade.

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