The Homeland Security Department seems finally to have a contractor to develop its technology infrastructure at its consolidated headquarters at the St. Elizabeth’s campus in Washington.
The General Services Administration, which is running the acquisition for DHS, announced today it awarded General Dynamics a $867 million contract to provide services to design, procure, configure, install, test, secure and maintain an integrated network infrastructure to transport all DHS voice, video and data across the consolidated DHS headquarters campus.
“The work accomplished through the DHS TIP is critical to the success of the Department of Homeland Security and our consolidation efforts,” said Richard Spires, DHS Chief Information Officer. “The culture of trust and partnership with DHS, GSA and General Dynamics will be vital to the alignment needed to support our critical information technology efforts.”
Mark Meudt, a spokesman for General Dynamics said the company is meeting with DHS officials this week to discuss the timeframe to get the project started.
“General Dynamics is pleased to have been selected,” he said. “We put together what we thought was a top notch bid and GSA and DHS agreed with us. This is something right in there with our core business.”
General Dynamics is doing similar work for several other agencies, including the Army during its base realignment and closure initiative at the Mark Center in Fairfax, Va., and at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
This is the second award under DHS’s Technology Integration Program (TIP). GSA initially awarded Northrop Grumman a $2.6 billion contract in September. General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin protested the award. GSA pulled it back in December after the vendors filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office and reopened the bidding.
Northrop then protested GSA’s decision to reopen the contract to GAO. GAO denied Northrop’s protest in March, paving the way for GSA to make a new award.
“Northrop Grumman offered the Department of Homeland Security an outstanding technical solution and we are disappointed in the GSA’s decision,” said Mark Root, a Northrop spokesman. “We look forward to continued support and success with the DHS on other information technology and security programs of critical importance to information exchange and national security.”
The award to General Dynamics could still be protested. Even though the provision that gave vendors the right to protest task orders expired May 28, a congressional staffer confirms that GAO can continue to hear bid protests on task orders no matter the size.
GSA made the award through the Alliant government-wide acquisition contract.
Additionally, unsuccessful bidders also could protest the award to the Court of Federal Claims.
Both House and Senate lawmakers want to continue to give vendors the ability to protest task orders, but did not pass an extension in time. Along with bills in both chambers of Congress, the House included task order protest extension language in the 2012 Defense Authorization bill that passed in May.
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