Protest spotlight

By Marjorie Censer / August 21, 2019 at 3:09 PM

(This occasional feature highlights protests decided by the Government Accountability Office.)

Agency: Army

Protester: Israel Aerospace Industries

What GAO found: Israel Aerospace Industries filed a protest over a request for proposals issued by the Army for helicopter and maintenance services, according to GAO's report.

The service was seeking maintenance and overhaul of the UH-60 main rotor blade assembly, and the solicitation specifically noted the winning contractor would provide the needed parts to overhaul the main rotor blade, GAO writes.

“Sikorsky is the original equipment manufacturer of the UH-60 and the main rotor blades” and the only supplier of some of the necessary parts, GAO writes. “During the solicitation period, IAI notified the agency that Sikorsky was unwilling to sell it the necessary parts, and requested that the agency provide the parts as [government-furnished material].”

However, the Army declined, and IAI protested.

“The protester argues that the solicitation’s requirement that the selected contractor must provide all of the parts and equipment is unduly restrictive in light of Sikorsky’s unwillingness to enter into agreements to supply the parts to other offerors,” the report says.

But GAO backed the Army's justification, which is that “requiring the contractor to provide the parts reduces its risk and shifts a substantial burden of performance to the contractor, as well as reflects the agency’s desire for administrative convenience.” The protest was denied.

Read the decision.