WASHINGTON — New Army-supplied information that emerged toward the end of the Government Accountability Office's protest process led to Lockheed Martin's anticipated move to file a complaint with the US Court of Federal Claims over the US Army choosing Oshkosh to build its Humvee replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the company said.
Lockheed filed its JLTV protest on Sept. 8, and the GAO decision was due by Dec. 17. The GAO dismissed the protest Tuesday citing Lockheed’s decision to file a notice of intent to protest the award with the US Court of Federal Claims.
“Our office will not decide a protest where the matter involved is subject of litigation before a court of competent jurisdiction,” the GAO's decision stated.
In a Tuesday evening statement, Lockheed said: "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. 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.”
Because of that decision, “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,” the statement continued.
It's unclear what's in the Army's recently released documents and why they were not produced earlier in the GAO's process.
An industry source familiar with the situation, but not authorized to speak on the record, said the Army recently released a large volume of documents that wasn't seen during the GAO hearing. The document dump included more information than all the material and data previously provided to Lockheed Martin during the protest period combined, the source said.
Lockheed believes that the recently released information would have affected the case, including testimony and cross-examination of government witnesses, according to the source. The source added that the previously undisclosed documents contain data that Lockheed believes constitute additional grounds for protest.
Lockheed was told the GAO would not grant an extension to its protest to consider the new information from the Army, the source said.
Oshkosh beat out both Humvee-maker AM General and Lockheed for the $6.7 billion low-rate initial production contract award to build 16,901 vehicles, but the entire contract is expected to be worth up to $30 billion.
AM General, which submitted its Blast Resistant Vehicle – Offroad as its bid decided not to file a protest with the GAO.
Meanwhile, after Tuesday's GAO protest dismissal, Oshkosh announced that the US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command had directed the company to resume work on the JLTV production contract.
It remains to be seen if Lockheed files an injunction to stop work on the JLTV program when it files its official protest with the court.