Plan to fix moves of troop household goods hits another hurdle

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Connected Global Solutions, an unsuccessful bidder on the $6.2 billion global household goods moving contract, has filed a protest in federal court, again delaying the Department of Defense’s efforts to resolve many of the long-standing issues plaguing service members who need to change stations.

The new contract essentially outsources the management of the household goods moving process, although the US Transportation Command will oversee the program. The successful bidder will bring together a network of moving companies from across the industry and coordinate military moves and warehouse services, incorporating functions that are currently performed by over 900 commercial movers. The contractor will be fully responsible for these moves, which will hold the program accountable.

Following the US Transportation Command’s November 4 decision to award the contract to HomeSafe Alliance, a joint venture of KBR Services LLC and Tier One Relocation LLC, the two unsuccessful bidders – Connected Global and American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group Inc. – have filed protests with the Government Accountability Office. The GAO denied both protests on March 3.

Connected Global then filed a protest on March 14 in the U.S. Federal Claims Court, the next option for unsuccessful bidders.

Following the GAO’s decision, TRANSCOM began the transition period with the HomeSafe Alliance on March 4, and work under the new contract had not stopped as of Monday. The contract includes a nine-month transition period and a three-year base period, but with option periods, the contract value could grow to around $18 billion over time.

Connected Global called a work stoppage with its protest, according to an industry source. The delay could extend the timeline for implementing the new program into 2023, depending on how long the case remains in court and whether its decision sends TRANSCOM back to the drawing board.

For this year’s moving season, service members will continue to move under the current Household Goods Program, in which more than 900 commercial companies handle approximately 325,000 shipments per year at a cost of approximately $2. $2 billion. Service members often have more than one shipment with their moves.

Due to the shortage of quality movers, capacity has long been an issue in the military moving business, with shortages of truck drivers and labor for packing, loading and unloading. Service members have struggled to plan moves and get household items delivered on time, and the pandemic has exacerbated delays. Damaged and lost property was also an issue.

TRANSCOM’s attempt to resolve these issues has been ongoing since early 2019, when it announced plans to hire a company to handle household goods moves around the world. The command originally awarded the contract to American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group in May 2020, but GAO sent TRANSCOM back to the drawing board in 2021 after backing protests from HomeSafe and Connected Global.

At Connected Global’s request, the court documents were sealed to protect proprietary, confidential and source selection information, and the judge issued a protective order.

But some details can be found in the GAO’s March 21 public announcement of its decision to refuse protests. TRANSCOM and the affected bidders had been notified on March 3.

According to the GAO, Connected Global had asserted that TRANSCOM’s conduct of discussions with bidders “were not meaningful, that the agency had evaluated the technical proposals unreasonably, and that it had performed a best-fit trade-off analysis. inappropriate value”.

The GAO found that TRANSCOM’s Source Selection Authority found a “discernible difference” between Connected Global’s and HomeSafe’s proposals in two areas: obtaining sufficient move capacity; and the solicitation of subcontractors and the criteria for awarding moves to such subcontractors.

Many military families have complained about the quality of their moves, as TRANSCOM’s current system struggles to find a mover to move household goods, especially during peak season when there is more competition with commercial moves.

GAO’s denial of Connected Global’s protest said that after comparing its proposal with that of HomeSafe, TRANSCOM’s source selection authority found that “HomeSafe’s technical proposal, taken as a whole, represents a superior technical capability with an added focus on improving the customer experience during the moving process.…”

Although Connected Global submitted a lower bid – by approximately $225 million over the life of the potential $18 billion contract – the GAO noted that the source selection authority “traded a price premium of less 1.5% for a proposal that the [authority] considered “superior”, “innovative” and “impactful”. »

According to the GAO decision, the source screening authority concluded that after comparing the two bidders’ proposals under all technical capability factors, “HomeSafe’s technical proposal, taken as a whole, represents superior technical capability. with an added focus on improving the customer experience during the moving process, compared to CGSL’s proposal.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for over 30 years, and co-authored a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families”. She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Florida and Athens, Georgia.

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