Lockheed to Replace L-3 on $5B SOCOM Support Contract
US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) has been extremely busy since Sept 11/01, a situation which creates corresponding demands on their support infrastructure. SOCOM is famous for having a practical, results-oriented, “get it done now” approach to contracting, and there are a number of umbrella contracts designed to provide them with outsourced support and maintenance services of all kinds. One of the these contracts is SOFSA CLS (Special Operations Forces Support Activity, Contractor Logistics Support); contrary to some media reports that it exemplifies a trend toward contracted services, it has been running for over 20 years now.
On March 3/09, the Pentagon announced that Lockheed Martin would be replacing L-3 Communications Integrated Systems as the designated contractor for SOFSA CLS, which has 3 primary components: (1) aircraft, vehicle and equipment maintenance, (2) critical infrastructure support, and (3) business process transformation. L-3 protested that award, received a sizeable interim award, and got the Lockheed win canceled, pending a re-compete. Then, a May 2010 scandal changed everything…
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will repair and maintain the fleet of Special Operations aircraft, ground vehicles, weaponry and electronics equipment, to include managing a global supply chain of parts, warehouses, and depots. The contracted firm also manages and upgrade SOCOM’s critical infrastructure, from secure IT networks to worldwide facilities. Finally, the firm works with SOFSA at Blue Grass Station, Lexington, KY to implement leaner, more efficient business processes that can deliver improvements in reliability, responsiveness, cost, and/or speed.
The GAO protest has apparently had the effect of derailing the award in June 2009, however, pending a re-compete. That lasted until a serious security scandal caused a reinstatement of the contract in June 2010.
Contracts & Key Events
July 27/10: In an earnings report, L-3 CEO Michael Strianese says that:
“Finally, we expect to execute an agreement with the Air Force today, under which the Air Force will lift the suspension of L-3’s Special Support Programs Division. The Air Force will also agree not to suspend Integrated Systems.”
The condition is that L-3 sign a 3-year agreement with the USAF concerning mandatory ethics training for employees and officers. The barbs are sharper. L-3 will pay the USAF $60,000 to reimburse it for investigation-related costs. It will not protest the June 21/10 SOFSA re-award to Lockheed Martin, will cooperate in the transition, and L-3 SSPD cannot perform IT work for the government during this 3 year agreement unless it is directly related to the SOFSA contract. L-3 Q2 2010 Earnings release [PDF] | Full L-3/USAF administrative agreement [PDF] | DoD Buzz.
June 21/10: Urgent reinstatement. Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services in Gaithersburg, MD has its March 2009 win re-instated, “to meet urgent operational requirements.” It’s the maximum $5 billion indefinite-delivery /indefinite-quantity SOFSA contract, with mixed payment provisions including firm-fixed-price, incentive arrangements and cost-reimbursable arrangements. Work will be performed at Special Operations Forces Support Activity in Lexington, KY, and other locations across the globe and is expected to have a period of performance lasting until March 1/18. USSOCOM will manage the contract (H92254-09-D-0001), which was was terminated in June 2009 due to protests.
June 9/10: Relationship rupture. L-3 serves notice that:
“…Special Support Programs Division (L-3 SSPD, formerly known as L-3 Joint Operations Group (JOG)) has been temporarily suspended from receiving any new contracts or orders from U.S. Federal Government agencies, including under its Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) contract.
The notice of temporary suspension was received from the Office of the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Air Force on June 4, 2010 and relates to an on-going governmental investigation of L-3 SSPD concerning the alleged inappropriate use of an e-mail system by L-3 SSPD employees. L-3 SSPD is continuing to perform on outstanding orders under its existing contracts, including the SOFSA contract. The temporary suspension will remain in effect until lifted at the discretion of the Air Force.
The Air Force has also notified L-3 that it is considering whether a suspension of L-3 Communications Integrated Systems L.P., as the parent of L-3 SSPD, is also warranted.”
L-3 SSPD managed the network, and allegedly copied, stored, and viewed sent emails in an attempt to discover whether its employees had shared its information with another contractor. US SOCOM reportedly began to monitor communications among L-3 employees after a tip from a rival contractor. The USAF is also investigating whether L-3 employees without appropriate security clearances were brought in to work on sensitive projects, and might expand the probe to the entire L-3 company. The Atlantic | DoD Buzz | Bloomberg | Reuters | Washington Technology | Wall St. Journal (subscriber-only).
May 20/10: US FedBizOpps synopsis and solicitation #Ha2254-10-P-0005:
“This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items… a 100% set-a-side for local Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses. Local area is defined as the state of Kentucky. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. This solicitation is being issued as a Request for Quotation (RFQ). Submit only written quotations for Purchase Request H92254-10-P-0005. This solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 05-12. The associated NAICS code is 541511 with a $25,000,000.00 size standard.
SOFSA hereby publicizes its intention to solicit for non-personal services to develop software to create a Contract Tracking System (CTS) as a management tool that will allow a quick and easy method to determine the status of actions that are executed from the Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) Business Management Division. The system should allow for data storage, organization, tracking and reporting of contract actions for SOFSA. The definition of an action is a contract that is executed, a task order that is executed or a modification that is executed in support of the customer’s requirements. The program will replace numerous other methods used to track this information, resulting in more consistent information being entered, better visibility for management, and less effort for the people doing the work. The resulting program will be web based utilizing a dashboard front end giving the user instant feedback on the status of each action.”
June 2009: SOFSA win to Lockheed Martin terminated due to protests. The intent is to re-compete the contract.
April 6/09: L-3 Communications Integrated Systems’ Joint Operations Group in Lexington, KY received a $200 million ceiling increase modification to their existing indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for SOFSA contractor logistics support services, until Oct 24/09.
“This increase is required to sustain operations pending the results of a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office.”
March 10/09: L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. files a formal GAO challenge to the recent SOFSA CLS award. Reuters adds:
“InsideDefense.com, an online trade publication that was the first to report the protest, cited a March 4 report from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, as having said L-3’s loss to Lockheed Martin “may have both a psychological and financial impact as it was one of LLL’s largest, best recognized programs.”
March 3/09: Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services of Gaithersburg, MD wins a potential $5 billion indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with mixed payment provisions including firm fixed price, incentive arrangements, and cost reimbursable arrangements.
Awards will be issued as required, and the minimum amount guaranteed under the contract is $2.5 million. Work will be performed at Special Operations Forces Support Activity in Lexington, KY, and other locations across the globe, and is expected to have a period of performance from March 2/09, to March 1/18 (H92254-09-D-0001). SOFSA CLS RFP on FedBizOps | Lockheed Martin release.
- Boeing (Oct 2/08) – Boeing Submits Proposal for Special Operations Forces Support Activity. Teamed with CSC.
- L-3 Communications (Sept 22/08) – L-3 Adds SAIC to Its Special Operations Command Logistics Support Contract Team
- L-3 Communications (Sept 16/08) – L-3 Selects IBM for Special Operations Command Logistics Support Contract Team