ITT Exelis Protests FAA's Data Comm Contract Award

January 25, 2013, 10:13 AM

An unsuccessful bidder for the FAA’s $332 million Data Comm Integrated Services (DCIS) acquisition is protesting the contract award made to Harris last September. ITT Exelis filed a protest on November 15 with the FAA’s Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA), alleging the agency improperly evaluated its proposal. Harris, ITT Exelis and Lockheed Martin competed for the DCIS contract to provide an ATC data communications network between pilots and controllers.

In a December 12 decision, ODRA dispute resolution officer John Dietrich denied an ITT Exelis request to temporarily suspend the contract while the bid protest is considered. But the company is justified in pursuing the protest, he said. “In the present protest, the ODRA does not prejudge the outcome, but finds that ITT has presented fair ground for litigation,” Dietrich wrote. “[ITT’s] grounds of protest challenging the evaluation process present well recognized protest theories that, if proven, could result in sustaining the protest.”

ITT Exelis provided the following statement to AIN: “We believe ITT Exelis delivered an exceptional technical solution that offered a wide degree of flexibility and cost savings to the government. As in any solicitation there are many evaluation criteria. In this case we believe some aspects of the evaluation warrant further review, leading us to follow due process and request an ODRA review. The decision to protest was not made lightly. Exelis is committed to providing the best value solution to the FAA customer and [we] are optimistic about our prospects for a positive outcome from this protest.”

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