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Companies challenge $3.5 billion Navy network contract

Jul. 16, 2013 - 02:20PM   |  
Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, Watchfloor
Harris Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. are challenging a decision by the Navy to award its $3.5 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) to a team led by Hewlett Packard, according to the Government Accountability Office. (MC2 Joshua J. Wahl / Navy)
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Harris Corp., and Computer Sciences Corp. are challenging a decision by the Navy to award its $3.5 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) to a team led by Hewlett Packard, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The contract will replace the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), a contractor-owned and operated network serving 800,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. NGEN will serve roughly the same number of personnel in both services, in both the U.S. and foreign locations.

HP’s team included AT&T Government Solutions Inc., IBM Global Business Services Federal, Lockheed Martin Services Inc. and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. The losing team included CSC, Harris Corp., General Dynamics Information Technology, Verizon and Dell. CSC and Harris led the team as prime contractors.

In weighing competitors, the Navy sought the lowest-price, technically acceptable bid. That means once vendors demonstrated they could meet the Navy’s standards for providing network connectivity and services, the next factor was price.

The GAO has until Oct. 23 to uphold, reject or dismiss the protests, according to GAO. The Navy may also choose to negotiate with the companies in order to reach a settlement.

The Navy learned of the protest on Monday from the GAO and plans to send information to GAO to assess the protest, said Ed Austin, a spokesman for the program executive office for Enterprise Information Systems.

“We provide information and facts back the GAO, and it’s up to the GAO to determine their response to the protest,” Austin said. “We’re just learning about this, so we’re in the process” of submitting information to the GAO.

Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said at a June 27 news conference that the Navy had done its due diligence to withstand a protest.

“There is no defense against a protest, but there is absolutely preparation to ensure that in the event of a protest that the government prevail, and we took every measured step to do that,” Stackley said.

Staff writer Sam Fellman contributed to this report.

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