One Protest Spoils the Bunch

GAO recently dismissed several bid protests to an $82 billion procurement because of the actions of a company that had already lost its protest.

In AECOM Management Services, four different companies protested the U.S. Army’s logistics civil augmentation program procurement for various “Setting the Theater” services for the Army’s Northern Command, Southern Command, African Command, European Command, Central Command, Pacific Command, and Afghanistan.

The services included, but were not limited to, supply, transportation, engineering, base camp support, and other logistics for the seven different theaters. The solicitation’s work breakdown included more than 200 jobs.

This was the fifth time the Army has held a competition for these services. The Army released the request for proposals on November 20, 2017. It sought to award four to six indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts and dole out the first seven task orders. The maximum value of the contracts is $82 billion.

Six companies responded to the request: DynCorp International, LLC, AECOM Management Services, Inc. (then called URS Federal Services, Inc.), Fluor Intercontinental, Inc., PAE-Parsons Global Logistics Services, LLC, Kellogg, Brown & Root Services, Inc. (KBR), and Vectrus Systems Corp.

On April 9, the Army announced it was giving four total IDIQ contracts and it was awarding the seven task orders as follows: three to KBR, two to Vectrus, and one each to Fluor and PAE. DynCorp and AECOM did not receive IDIQs or task orders.

DynCorp filed the first protest on April 22. AECOM, Fluor, and PAE filed protests on May 1 — the latter two arguing that, even though they got IDIQs, the doling out of task orders was improper.

GAO denied DynCorp’s protest on July 31. But DynCorp wasn’t finished. It took its grievances to the Court of Federal Claims, which led to the immediate dismissal of the AECOM, Fluor, and PAE protests.

Wait, what?

Yes, that’s correct. A competitor’s unilateral decision to take its protest to a different venue led to the dismissal of three other protests despite the fact that those protesters had nothing to do with DynCorp’s court proceeding.

The reason GAO dismissed the case is because its regulation requires it to dismiss any case “where the matter involved is the subject of litigation before, or has been decided on the merits by, a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Said GAO: “we will not consider the protest if the court’s disposition of the matter would render a decision by our Office academic.” Because the matter of whether the agency conducted its procurement correctly is currently before the Court of Federal Claims, and AECOM’s, Fluor’s, and PAE’s protests concern the same subject matter, GAO had to dismiss their protests.

It doesn’t matter that those parties have no control over DynCorp’s actions and what DynCorp argues before the court. It doesn’t matter that they’ve spent countless hours (and legal fees) arguing their points before GAO.

Through no fault of their own, their shot at a GAO ruling on the $82 billion pie was obliterated by the actions of a competitor.