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JLTV Goes to Court

 

 

In the days following the award of the $6.7 billion Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) production contract to Oshkosh Defense in late August, the award was protested to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) by Lockheed Martin, one of the unsuccessful bidders on the production program.

“After careful consideration of all options, Lockheed Martin decided to file a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims concerning our Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract award process.”

A company statement issued at the time noted: “After evaluating the data provided at our debrief, Lockheed Martin has filed a protest of the award decision on the JLTV program. We firmly believe we offered the most capable and affordable solution for the program. Lockheed Martin does not take protests lightly, but we are protesting to address our concerns regarding the evaluation of Lockheed Martin’s offer.”

Lockheed Martin JLTV

A Lockheed Martin JLTV variant undergoes testing with its trailer. After losing out in the competition and failing in its protest, Lockheed Martin is taking the government to court. Lockheed Martin photo

The GAO protest – which was initially filed on Sept. 8 and followed by two more “supplemental protests” – prompted issuance of a “stop work order” to Oshkosh and opened a 100-day window for the GAO to evaluate the concerns noted by Lockheed Martin. That GAO evaluation period concluded on Dec. 15, with GAO “dismissing” the protest and the stop work order lifted on Oshkosh Defense.

However, in the GAO finding, agency lawyers noted that on Dec. 11, “pursuant to Appendix C of the Rules of the United States Court of Federal Claims, Lockheed filed a Notice of Post-Award Bid Protest with that Court. The Notice stated that Lockheed will file a protest with the Court on or about December 17, 2015, and Lockheed has further stated that such protest will involve the same subject matter as the protests filed with our Office.”

On Dec. 15, 2015, Lockheed Martin acknowledged that possibility, offering, “We are considering filing a complaint with Court of Federal Claims based on new information that was brought to our attention that relates to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract award process.”

“Recently, we were made aware of a substantial number of documents directly related to the competition that were not provided to the GAO or Lockheed Martin until very late in the protest process,” the statement continued. “We believe this newly discovered information should have been considered by the GAO before issuing a ruling on the protest, however, GAO declined to grant an extension to the 100-day deadline and could not consider the new documents. Therefore, we are considering all options available to us to ensure that a fair and unbiased evaluation of all available data is considered before issuing a decision in this important matter.”

Two days later, on Dec. 17, that statement was supplemented with: “After careful consideration of all options, Lockheed Martin decided to file a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims concerning our Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract award process.  We look forward to working with all parties involved on the next steps.”

 

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...