Two Fairbanks Contractors Challenge Corps’ Construction Contract Awards

Wed September 05, 2007 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) Two companies have filed separate complaints over the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a multiyear construction contract in early August.

Doyon Ltd. and the Nenana Lumber Co. filed separate protests Aug. 13 with the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The companies are challenging the procedure used by the Army Corps in Alaska to prequalify contractors to bid for as much as $630 million worth of military construction projects over the next three to five years.

Doyon and Nenana Lumber are two of the five companies that failed to prequalify for an upcoming Multiple Award Task Order Contract. That is the process the corps uses to streamline construction by bundling projects and contractors, rather than bidding each project individually.

The corps chose six companies, including three Alaska Native corporation subsidiaries certified as 8(a) disadvantaged businesses, a program administered through the Small Business Administration to help small and minority-owned businesses. Both Doyon and Nenana Lumber are certified 8(a) businesses.

Federal regulations allow contractors to protest government contracts after a formal debriefing, where companies can learn why they weren’t selected.

Mike Holz, special projects coordinator for Nenana Lumber, said he wasn’t satisfied with the answers he received at the debriefing, but held off on the formal protest through the weekend until Sen. Ted Stevens office had a chance to inquire into the process.

Doyon doesn’t agree with the criteria the corps used to examine the company’s previous work.

“We don’t believe that our proposal was properly evaluated,” said Allen Todd, general counsel for the Native corporation.

The Army Corps will have 30 days to make a report of relevant information for the Government Accountability Office, which can choose to pursue or dismiss the case

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