Update:GAO upholds protest of DHS contract


The Government Accountability Office on March 9 upheld a protest challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s multimillion-dollar contract with CACI to integrate financial management systems.

CACI was awarded up to $450 million worth of work on Nov. 19 to support the department’s troubled Transformation and Systems Consolidation program, which required the company to consolidate financial, acquisition and asset management systems across the department.

Competitors – Global Computer Enterprises and Savantage Financial Services – protested the award with GAO about a week later. GAO upheld GCE’s protest but dismissed Savantage’s, according to a GAO decision released Wednesday.

GCE argued that DHS changed the scope of work without properly notifying bidders. DHS reduced its requirements for the first two years of the contract from requiring 20 percent of users have access to the system to just FEMA, which represents less than 3 percent of that total.

GAO recommended that DHS reevaluate its requirements and revise and evaluate its request for proposal. “If as a result of the agency’s corrective action, CACI’s proposal is not found to offer the best value to the government, the agency should terminate CACI’s contract and make award to the offeror whose proposal is determined to represent the best value,” GAO said in its decision.

The government’s watchdog arm also recommended that DHS reimburse GCE for the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including “reasonable attorney fees.”

“We are currently assessing GAO’s findings and recommendations to determine the way forward,” said DHS spokesman Chris Ortman. “The modernization of the Department’s financial, acquisition and asset systems remains a key priority for DHS.”


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