U.S. GAO dismisses Lockheed protest of $6.75 billion Oshkosh Army deal
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Tuesday dismissed Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N: Quote) protest of a $6.75 billion Army contract for next-generation Humvees to Oshkosh Corp OSK.N after Lockheed said it would take the issue to federal court.
Lockheed said it was considering all its options after the GAO refused to extend the deadline for ruling on the protest despite the discovery of a large number of documents that were not provided Lockheed until "very late in the protest process."
The GAO had been poised to rule on the merits of the case by Thursday but dismissed it after Lockheed said it would file a fresh protest with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A clerk with the court said the protest had not yet been filed.
"Our office will not decide a protest where the matter involved is the subject of litigation before a court of competent jurisdiction," the GAO said in a statement.
Oshkosh said it would now resume work on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle trucks after the U.S. Army lifted a stop-work order first imposed when Lockheed filed its protest with the GAO in September.
The contract calls for Oshkosh to begin delivering vehicles within the next 10 months, reaching an expected volume of nearly 17,000 vehicles over an eight-year period. Winning the contract could put Oshkosh in a prime position to bid for a total of 55,000 vehicles worth around $30 billion over time.
Army officials had no immediate comment.
Lockheed issued a statement late on Tuesday saying that it wanted to ensure "a fair and unbiased evaluation of all available data" before a decision was made. Continued...