The Government Accountability Office (GAO) late yesterday rejected a protest filed by SAIC [SAI] of the Army awards to teams led by General Dynamics [GD] and BAE Systems for the technology development phase of the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV).

“Although the solicitation provided for the award of up to three contracts, the Army ultimately decided not to award a third contract to SAIC,” said a statement by Ralph White, GAO’s managing associate general counsel for procurement law. SAIC protested to GAO that this decision was unreasonable. Our review of the record led us to conclude that the Army’s evaluation decisions resulting in the award of only (two) contracts were reasonable, consistent with the stated evaluation criteria, and did not improperly favor the successful offerors over SAIC.”

The GCV is the Army’s modernization effort responding to the lessons learned over a decade of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and to replace the terminated Manned Ground Vehicle portion of the Future Combat Systems.

The SAIC team included Boeing [BA], Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Defence.

The Army awarded contracts to General Dynamics Land Systems and BAE totaling nearly $900 million (Defense Daily, Aug. 19).  

“We’re ready to go to work and support the Army,” said Peter Keating, vice president, communications at General Dynamics Land Systems.

White further stated that “GAO’s decision expresses no view as to the merits of these firms’ respective proposals.”

Judgments about which offeror will most successfully meet the governments needs are not in GAO’s purview, but reserved for the procuring agencies, subject only to such statutory and regulatory requirements as full and open competition, and fairness to potential offerors, White’s statement said. The GAO bid protest process examines whether procurement agencies comply with requirements, both statutory and regulatory.

Additionally, GAO said its decision was issued under a protective order because the decision contains proprietary and source selection sensitive information. "We have directed counsel for the parties to promptly identify information that cannot be publicly released so that we can expeditiously prepare and release a public version of the decision,” White said.