The latest contract award for FMTV -- worth roughly $2 billion -- was declared a stunning upset when it was awarded and it looks as if BAE Systems and Navistar, the stunned ones, weren't willing to accept the results. Once the protest was filed Oshkosh received a stop-work order from the Army. The good news here is that Oshkosh won't actually start production until the middle of next year and won't go to full production until 2011. So the chances of production being harmed are moderately low.
BAE announced this morning that "the Army did not properly evaluate the proposals, consistent with the Government's stated requirements, and the Army failed accurately to assess the various risks associated with the different proposals." Perhaps the best news coming out of this protest is that the company's designated spokesman on the issue, Linda Hudson, president of land and armaments, said the company "did not take lightly" the decision to protest the award to Oshkosh.
“The Army’s stated objective was to conduct a best-value competition based upon a clear-cut set of criteria. We are seriously concerned that this did not happen,” Hudson said in the release. BAE has built more than 56,000 FMTVs over the last 17 years so the company has a great deal vested in this award. If you want to do the legislative geography, BAE Systems employs 3,200 people on the FMTV program at facilities in Texas, Ohio and Michigan.
The GAO must rule on the protests by Dec. 14. Although the acquisition community continues to insist that very few contract awards are ever protested, ATL has consistently declined to release the figures proving this, arguing that they are very difficult to compile.