Filtration Development Company, LLC v. United States

60 Fed. Cl. 371 (2004)

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Filtration Development Company, LLC v. United States

United States Court of Federal Claims
60 Fed. Cl. 371 (2004)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Westar Corporation (Westar) held a systems-engineering and technical direction (SETA) contract with the United States Army (defendant), called the Omnibus 2000 contract (O2K), under which Westar provided systems-support for engine-inlet barrier filter (IBF) systems. An IBF system mitigates the damage caused by debris, like sand, infiltrating an engine. Sikorsky Aircraft Company (Sikorsky) manufactured Blackhawk helicopters for the Army. Because Blackhawk helicopters were deployed to the Iraqi desert, the Army directed Sikorsky to add IBF systems to protect the Blackhawks’ engines. The Army ordered Sikorsky to conduct an IBF system trade study; however, the Army then suspended the trade study and directed Sikorsky to use the IBF system designed by Aerospace Filtration Systems (AFS), a division of Westar. The contracting officer (CO) for Sikorsky’s contract recognized that the Army’s order created a potential organizational conflict-of-interest (OCI) because AFS was part of Westar and Westar already provided systems-support for IBF systems under its O2K SETA contract. Although the CO raised the OCI issue with Army officials, no mitigation plan was ever implemented and no OCI waiver was issued. Regardless, the Army, through Sikorsky, awarded the IBF procurement subcontract to Westar, through AFS. The Army invoked unusual-and-compelling circumstances to justify awarding AFS the subcontract without undergoing a full-and-open competitive bidding process. Filtration Development Company, LLC (FDC) (plaintiff), another IBF systems contractor, sued the Army seeking (1) a declaratory judgment that the procurement award to AFS was improper; and (2) a permanent injunction barring Westar, through AFS, from competing for future IBF procurement contracts.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Futey, J.)

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