Federal judge dismisses $2B USPTO IT services contract bid dispute

The interior of the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2019. (Antony-22 / Wikimedia Commons)

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A judge at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has dismissed a bid protest filed over the award of a $2 billion IT services contract by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Technology services company Stratera Fulcrum Technologies last year brought the lawsuit to the court after USPTO selected federal contractors SAIC, Booz Allen Hamilton, Halvik, Steampunk and RIVA as winning bidders.

The disputed procurement is an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, 10-year contract with a $2 billion ceiling. Through the solicitation, USPTO is seeking to procure agile development services to support the modernization and maintenance of the agency’s systems.

It comes after GAO last year denied an earlier protest of the procurement, which was filed by Salient CRGT. At the time, the company contended that USPTO’s analysis of proposals did not align with the relevant solicitation evaluation scheme. 

In his opinion, Senior Judge Eric Bruggink dismissed claims by Stratera that USPTO deviated from the solicitation, that the agency did not conduct its best value analysis in a reasonable manner and that its analysis of Stratera’s prior performance was not unreasonable.

The federal judge found also that the department’s evaluation of Stratera’s proposal was reasonable and that USPTO did not engage in unequal evaluations or address the prior performance of contract awardee Halvik with prejudice.

Bruggink wrote: “Because the agency acted reasonably during this procurement and in its analysis, Stratera’s Motion for Judgement on the Administrative Record (MJAR) is denied and the government’s and intervenors’ cross-MJARs are granted.”

Stratera brought its complaint to the Court of Federal Claims after several claims filed by various federal contractors with GAO over the solicitation were denied. 

It is the latest bid dispute to be resolved as federal contractors continue to dispute the award of multi-billion dollar IT contracts. 

Last month the National Security Agency re-awarded its $10 billion WildandStormy cloud computing contract to Amazon Web Services after the GAO last year determined that the security agency had improperly assessed technical proposals from Microsoft.

Agencies have worked to increase the number of indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity acquisition contracts used to acquire IT services because they facilitate the award of multiple, smaller task orders, which can result in fewer award challenges.

Stratera Fulcrum declined to comment. USPTO did not respond to a request for comment.

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Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
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