For now, at least, the BAE Systems plant is still alive.
The federal government's General Accountability Office has determined to uphold the protest conducted by Navistar and BAE Systems about the awarding of the defense contract to Oshkosh. They determined that the “Army's evaluation was flawed” and the proposals must be re-evaluated. However — and this is important — they denined many of the challenges made by BAE Systems, including challenges to Oshkosh's price.
What this means is that the contract is not necessarily staying here in Texas — but there's still a chance. BAE Systems is now getting a fair chance at the bid, something they didn't have before due to Michael McCaul's gross negligence. Thankfully, with the help of Democrats like Chet Edwards and Bill White, BAE Systems will get another swing at the contract.
From the Bill White blog about this last week:
Last week, a day before his announcement, Bill put politics aside and joined forces with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to fight for an Army contract that could jeopardize more than 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and have economic impact of 1.8 billion annually to Southeast Texas region.
Bill said after the 90-minute meeting, “When it comes to matters affecting Texas, we put politics aside. That's who Texans are, at our best. Obviously, there are some who play by different rules, but that's who we are.”
I'm still reading news reports as it comes out. I'll post something more this afternoon, once I get more details. For now, here's the official statement from the GAO:
We recommended that the Army: reevaluate the offerors’ proposals under the capability evaluation factor, in a manner consistent with the terms of the solicitation; conduct a new evaluation of Navistar’s past performance that adequately documents the agency’s judgments; and make a new selection decision. We also recommended that if, at the conclusion of the reevaluation, Oshkosh is not found to offer the best value, the agency should terminate Oshkosh’s contract for the convenience of the government. We further recommend that Navistar and BAE be reimbursed the costs of filing and pursuing the successful grounds of their protests related to their challenge of technical and past performance evaluation issues, including reasonable attorney fees. By statute, the Army has 60 days to inform our Office of its actions in response to our recommendations.
Navistar Defense, LLC, of Warrenville, Illinois, and BAE Systems, Tactical Vehicle Systems LP, of Sealy, Texas, protested the award of a contract to Oshkosh Corporation, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, under request for proposals (RFP) No. W56HZV-09-R-0083, issued by the Department of the Army, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, for production of the family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV). Navistar and BAE challenged the Army’s evaluation of the offerors’ technical and price proposals, and contend that the selection decision was flawed.
The Army received proposals and conducted negotiations with Oshkosh, Navistar, and BAE. The agency selected Oshkosh’s proposal for award on August 26, 2009, and Navistar and BAE each filed a protest with our Office on September 4 and 5, respectively, with each supplementing its protest several times thereafter. In accordance with our Bid Protest Regulations, we obtained a report from the agency and comments on that report from Oshkosh, Navistar, and BAE. Our Office also conducted a hearing on November 9 and 10, at which testimony was received from a number of Army witnesses about the record. Following the hearing, we received further comments from the parties, addressing the hearing testimony as well as other aspects of the record.
Our decision should not be read to reflect a view as to the merits of the firms' respective approaches to produce the FMTV. Judgments about which offeror will most successfully meet governmental needs are largely reserved for the procuring agencies, subject only to such statutory and regulatory requirements as full and open competition and fairness to potential offerors. Our bid protest process examines whether procuring agencies have complied with those requirements.
The decision was issued under a protective order because the decision contains proprietary and source selection sensitive information. We have directed counsel for the parties to promptly identify information that cannot be publicly released so that we can expeditiously prepare and release, as soon as possible, a public version of the decision.”
Will post more as it develops…