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FBI cancels awards to moving companies

Aug. 27, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
By JIM McELHATTON   |   Comments

The FBI decided in July to cancel blanket purchase awards to companies it hired to provide employee relocation and moving services in the face of a string of protests, but the move is spawning even more litigation.

Several companies in recent weeks have filed complaints in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims stemming from the increasingly messy procurement. At stake are four blanket purchase agreements worth a maximum of $425 million, according to court records.

Complaints by at least three bidders remain partly or entirely under seal.

But WHR Group, which was a successful bidder, filed a 48-page complaint against the Justice Department calling the FBI’s decision to terminate its BPA “unlawful.” A redacted copy of the complaint was made public on Friday.

The company said the FBI cast the decision to terminate the BPA as a “corrective action” after a bidder protested the award to the Government Accountability Office. But in court records, WHR said the move was little more than an “ill-conceived attempt” to fix a prior botched corrective action.

In a separate complaint, another bidder, Lexicon Government Services, argued that the FBI’s decision to scrap the procurement and start over again was “arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law.”

The problems began after the FBI awarded BPAs to three companies — Allegiance Relocation Services, Lexicon and WHR Group — on March 15. One week later, another company, Brookfield Relocation Inc., filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office. Later, however, the FBI issued a BPA to Brookfield.

But that decision prompted TRC Global Solutions to protest the Brookfield award, though the GAO dismissed that complaint, saying the company couldn’t prove it was next in line for award.

A spokeswoman for the FBI has declined to comment on the wave of litigation.

“Because the FBI is in active litigation concerning the contract, it would not be appropriate to discuss at this time,” FBI spokeswoman Allison Mahan wrote in an email.

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