GAO denies carriers’ protest of defense transportation bid process

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Following a Government Accountability Office decision earlier this week, U.S. Transportation Command’s Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative will continue with it source selection process. The GAO decision denied a protest filed on behalf of 90 motor carriers and Transportation Intermediaries Association members against the program.

The protesters complained that the request for bid proposals included an impermissible bundling of requirements under the Small Business Act, was unduly restrictive of competition, and provided for the performance of services that are inherently governmental in nature. GAO determined that consolidation would result in substantial cost savings and efficiencies and was necessary to meet the agency’s needs.

During GAO’s deliberations of the protest, DTCI has continued to review industry proposals it received in late August with an anticipated contract award in 2007. “We have great respect for the bid protest process, and we’re pleased the GAO found that the DTCI solicitation was accomplished in accordance with all applicable statutes and governing regulations,” said Col. Jim Lovell, director of DTCI’s program management office. “We look forward to moving forward with this initiative so that government and industry can fully team for the best possible outcomes.”

DTCI is a freight management system designed to improve the reliability, predictability and efficiency of Department of Defense materiel moving within the continental United States by reducing cycle times and improving predictability through the use of more dedicated truck schedules, cross docking operations, better mode selection and load optimization. All this will be accomplished with the development of a long-term partnership with a coordinator of transportation management services to synchronize up to 260 independent shipping sites.

Benefits of the new program are expected to include increases in efficiencies and cost savings, as well as better visibility of freight movements. The enhanced visibility will enable predictability that will enhance planning of other modes of transportation so DOD can better meet end customer (warfighter) expectations of delivery.

Since USTRANSCOM was named the DOD’s Distribution Process Owner, several initiatives have been studied to improve supply chain support to the warfighter. DTCI is just one of these initiatives that will leverage commercial best practices to improve the movement of DOD materiel throughout the U.S. distribution pipeline and onward to the warfighter. Status updates on the proposal process will be posted to the DTCI website at http://dtci.transcom.mil as required.