INEEL will likely oppose DOE contractor switch

Saturday, March 25, 2000

By Anne Minard
Journal Staff Writer
POCATELLO - Roy Evans, who directs environmental monitoring at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, says his company will likely oppose its replacement by another contracting firm.
Announced earlier this week by the Department of Energy, the switch - from the non-profit Environmental Science and Research Foundation to the for-profit Stoller Corp. - stunned some Idaho State University researchers whose projects are funded through the foundation.
DOE officials have said the selection was based on an open competitive process in which technical ratings and cost, among other factors, were weighed. Evans contends the Department of Energy's procedure to forge an alliance with Stoller was marred by irregularities.
The whole process took over two years, he said.
"It started with DOE announcing that they were going to give us the sole source contract for continuing work. There was some opposition," Evans said, declining to elaborate.
Then the DOE's position changed, Evans said, and they announced in the publication Commercial Business Daily that a competition would indeed occur for the contract.
The open competition was slated to close July 27, 1999, and was extended to August 5, Evans said.
"That was a legitimate extension," Evans said. "It was closed for several weeks, then they announced that they were going to reopen it. The whole procedure was irregular, to say the least."
Evans said the company's options for recourse are to protest to local DOE officials, DOE headquarters, or to "go over their heads" to the congressional General Accounting Office. They will pursue the latter, he said.
"We frankly don't expect to get any resolution" through local officials, he said.

Anne Minard covers science and the environment for the Journal. She can be reached at 239-3168 or by e-mail at aminard@journalnet.com.



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