DZSP 21 protests half billion dollar base ops contract award to Fluor
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific would have to issue a new request for proposal for base operations if the Government Accountability Office rules in favor of the protest filed by DZSP21 against the Navy’s award of the nearly $500,000,000 contract to Fluor Federal Solutions LLC.
DZSP 21 filed the protest on Oct. 3 and GAO is expected to issue a decision on Jan. 11.
“If the protest is found to be valid, NAFVAC would have to cancel its award to Fluor and go back to the drawing board,” a source told the Pacific Island Times.
The contract for the work to be performed for Joint Region Marianas, carries a maximum dollar value of $494,519,656, according to the Department of Defense contract website. Included are facility support and base operating support, covering “management and administration, port operations, ordnance, material management, facility management, facility investment, electrical, wastewater, steam, water, base support vehicles and equipment and environmental.” The work at various Guam locations is expected to be completed by September 2025. Navy, Air Force, Air National Guard and Defense Department operations are involved.
NAVFAC announced the contract award to South Carolina-based Fluor Federal Solutions on Sept. 22, dislodging DZSP 21, which has been the base operations contractor for more than 10 years.
If the contract award is upheld, Fluor would be the third company to hold the contract on Guam since the Navy first started employing a civilian contractor to handle base operations. Raytheon held the Guam Navy contract from early 2000 to 2005. DZSP 21 took over in 2005.
“If the GAO’s decision goes in favor of Fluor, it would take a 120-day transition. They have four months to get supplies replenished and ship new equipment to Guam. There’s not enough time to manufacture and ship to Guam, so it’s going to hurt the government and it’s the government’s own fault,” the source said. “Their other option is to buy DZSP 21’s supply and equipment—but that is dependent on whether DZSP 21 decides to sell them.”
DZSP 21 has 900 employees, who may be absorbed by Fluor.
“Because Guam has a limited workforce, the current employees are likely to be picked up to work for the new company even if they don’t get the same jobs they are currently holding. I don’t think Fluor will fly 500 or 900 people to Guam to take the jobs; it’s not cost-effective,” the source said. “DZSP 21 has 14 annex managers. Fluor has 20 to 25 key persons currently on island.”
Among the key services provided by DZSP 21 include port operations support; ordnance handling and management; maintenance and operations of facilities and infrastructure; transportation fleet management; operations and maintenance of utilities and utility systems (power, demineralized water, potable water, and wastewater; materials and cargo management support; and environmental management.
“These jobs require a company with that kind of experience,” the source said.
Details of the protest were not available. The bid protest documents are sealed.
It was the latest in a thread of protests involving the highly-contested contract.
The RFP for base operations was reissued in 2016 based on the protest filed by Fluor Federal Solutions and KBR Marianas Support Services, LLC, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana against the Navy's contract award to DZSP 21. In sustaining the protest, GAO concluded that “the agency failed to document why it changed its ratings when the offerors did not increase proposed staffing levels commensurate with the agency’s discussion questions.”