Protests over $10B Army IT hardware contract head to court

So far, three companies have filed lawsuits against their eliminations from the competition for the IT Enterprise Solutions 4 Hardware contract.

The protests over the Army’s handling of the IT Enterprise Solutions 4 Hardware contract are growing in federal court as companies complain about being eliminated from the competition.

So far, three companies have gone to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. As that is taking place, dismissals or withdrawals of other protests are happening at the Government Accountability Office. 

The court has consolidated two cases filed by GovWave JV and Futron. A third protest filed by CACI International's ID Technologies subsidiary is still on its own. GovWave is a joint venture created by Govplace, V3Gate and Intelligent Waves.

The Army will not make awards but can continue to evaluate proposals as the protests are pending. The Army plans to make at least 17 awards under the potential $10 billion hardware contract.

The Army is using a three-step process to make awards. Step one is determining if proposals met strict compliance requirements. This is the phase that the current crop of protests are zeroed in on.

GovWave's complaint filed in late February is redacted, but offers several details about its protest. One of the contract requirements is that companies identify and provide details on adverse past performance.

GovWave claims it didn't have to do that because it doesn’t have any adverse past performance and told the Army so, according to its filing.

The Army eliminated the joint venture anyway, saying that GovWave didn’t use specific language to say they didn’t have adverse past performance.

GovWave argues the dispute could have been remedied by email or a phone call, but the Army rebuffed those efforts.

Futron’s complaint has not been released, but the fact that the court has joined its case with GovWave's indicates that there are enough similarities.

ID Technologies' case was just filed this week, so we will watch for whether it becomes attached to the GovWave-Futron protest.

Meanwhile, the protests filed at GAO have either been dismissed or withdrawn because of the filings at the court. One protest filed by MicroTech is in the process of being dismissed because the Army is letting the company back into the competition.

GAO generally dismisses protests once there is a case at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that addresses similar issues. The court has greater authority to enforce bid protest rulings.

We’ll watch the court docket to see if more companies join the case.