Washington: Less than a week after the Army awarded multimillion development deals for its Ground Combat Vehicle, an industry protest has brought the program to a grinding halt.
The protest was filed with the Government Accountability Office today by the SAIC-Boeing team, which lost out on the large Army contract.
Last Friday, the Army awarded dual contracts for GCV development to General Dynamics and BAE Systems, totaling over $800 million.
SAIC and Boeing filed the protest on the grounds that Army officials did not correctly evaluate all aspects of the team’s GCV bid, company spokeswoman Melissa Koskovich said today.
“We believe the government relied on evaluation criteria outside its published request for proposal,” Koskovich said. “We also believe several aspects of the bid may have been discounted because of a lack of familiarity with their non-American origins.”
Koskovich could not comment as to when the GAO may issue a protest decision, adding that both companies were “looking forward to working with the Army toward a swift resolution.”
The protest was first reported by InsideDefense.com.
This is only the latest in a long string of delays in moving GCV from the drawing board into development. Aside from today’s protest, concerns over the potential costs associated with the vehicle threaten to derail the program altogether.
Those concerns will almost certainly come into play, as the Hill and DoD struggle to trim Pentagon spending, to comply with the White House’s deficit reduction plans.
DoD has until October to present its list of propose defense spending cuts to the newly-minted congressional Super Committee, who have been tasked with cutting between $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in national security spending, senior defense analyst Dakota Wood said.
The Super Committee is expected to have a final spending reduction plan in place by mid-November, with Congress voting on the reduction package no later than December, according to Wood.
If the Army and DoD cannot get the protest bid resolved and get the GCV program back up and running before that mid-November date, they will find themselves facing a situation where “nearly everything will be subject to scrutiny and potential reduction or delay,” he said.