Since the Government Accountability Office’s decision to reject Glock’s protest of the Modular Handgun System contract award to SIG Sauer, the GAO has released a statement. The 17 page document outlines not only the reason for the GAO’s decision, but provides insight as to the deciding factors in the MHS contract award as well. Chiefly, the document reveals that SIG substantially underbid Glock, and that this – and not any technical difference between the competitors’ pistols – was the deciding factor in the contract award:
One of Glock’s key arguments in the protest was that they believed the US Army was obligated to award multiple contracts according to the wording of the initial solicitation, an assertion which the GAO rejected.
The document also included a chart outlining the evaluated characteristics of the two bids:
Note that the two biggest differences between the proposals were in licensing (where SIG rated “outstanding” across the board, vs. Glock’s “good” rating) and overall cost. Regarding the latter, SIG bid over 100 million dollars lower than Glock on total system package cost, recalling the $217 cost per pistol that the company reportedly is charging the US Army for M17 handguns.
The GAO further determined that Glock’s complaints that there was favoritism towards SIG, that the contract was awarded too early, and that the Army’s evaluation of the pistols was biased were unfounded. Importantly, the GAO rejected Glock’s complaint that the trials were ended too early, before the completion of the second phase, as the GAO determined that the Army only awarded contracts for the portions covered under the first phase of the evaluation.