The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday upheld DZSP 21’s protest against the Navy’s award of the base operation support contract to Fluor Federal Solutions, in a decision that may send the Naval Engineering Facilities Command Pacific back to the drawing board.
Details of the court’s decision were not available as of this writing. The opinion, although uploaded on the court’s website, remains sealed.
DZSP 21 is currently holding another 10-month bridge contract pending final resolution of the case. The $83.6 bridge contract was awarded on May 4 and will will run until February 2019. According to the Department of Defense, work under this agreement "covers management and administration, port operations, ordnance, material management, facility investment, electrical, wastewater, steam, water, base support vehicles and equipment and environmental services" for the Joint Region Marianas. DZSP 21's previous bridge contract expired on April 30.
Wayne Cornell, CEO and president of DZSP 21, said he has been notified by the company’s attorney of the court’s decision. “I have not seen the court’s decision; the case is sealed. I cannot speculate what the Navy will do next until I see the decision,” he said.
The $500-million contract to support the operations of the Joint Region Marianas has been locked in litigation since the followup contract was first awarded in September 2014.* DZSP 21 elevated the case to the federal court on Jan. 17 after the Government Accountability Office denied its protest.
DZSP 21 first obtained a favorable ruling on March 22, when the court flagged several errors in the Navy’s award of the contract to Fluor. In the same decision, the court ordered NAVFAC to reevaluate the two bidders’ proposals, noting that, among other flaws, the contract was awarded based on outdated specifications drafted when the solicitation was first issued in 2013.
Instead of reevaluating the proposals, however, NAVFAC again proceeded to award the contract to Fluor 43 days after the court issued the order. On May 29, NAVFAC issued a stop-work order to Fluor, following another protest from DZSP 21.
“Rather than meaningfully address the Court’s findings, the Navy’s corrective action was designed to be as limited and narrow as possible,” DZSP 21 stated in the subsequent lawsuit. “As for Fluor’s proposal, the Navy provided DZSP with no information about its reevaluation of Fluor’s proposal, other than to state that Fluor’s proposal had received an ‘Outstanding’ rating overall on the technical factors and ‘Substantial Confidence’ for past performance — the same ratings that DZSP received. The Navy did not explain how it
addressed its prior evaluation error.”
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*Correction: We earlier reported that the followup contract was awarded in 2013.