No Protest

/ January 9, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The Government Accountability Office today released its denial of a protest by Raytheon contesting sole-source contracts to Lockheed Martin for Aegis modernization work on Navy surface combatants.

As Inside the Navy reported last month:

In its protest filed Sept. 22, Raytheon argued that the Navy should have technical data in order to conduct competitive procurements, as would be provided for under law, and in the spirit of the push for open architectures advocated by the service and Congress.

“These technical data arguments . . . reflect an apparent unwillingness to press, with any vigor, for data rights that would facilitate competitive procurements, or even to consider alternative approaches merely because they may be more challenging or unconventional,” Raytheon’s protest stated. “While contractors other than ((Lockheed)) may not be as historically entrenched with the technology, that is insufficient basis to preclude all other contractors from taking a crack at competing to work with those systems.”

But GAO did not concur with Raytheon's objections, as the Dec. 22 decision released today states:

Sole-source awards of follow-on contracts for the continued development of a sophisticated weapon system are unobjectionable where the agency reasonably determined that award to any other source would be likely to cause unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency’s requirements.

The Navy asserted it was justified in awarding a sole-source contract to Lockheed Martin for Aegis modernization work to save time and money, ITN reported last month:

The service contended that Raytheon failed to “respond adequately” about how it would meet requirements, according to the Navy's 71-page response to the protest obtained this fall by Inside the Navy.

The service stands by its decision to award a sole-source contract “based upon the Navy’s determination that award to another source would result in unacceptable delay and substantial duplication of cost,” the response stated.

-- John Liang