Washington's $50 Billion Tech Plan Derailed by Lawsuit

The General Services Administration has announced that project Alliant has been halted after a group of technology service providers claimed that the U.S. government broke its own laws in August when it selected contractors to participate in the sweeping technology initiative on which Washington plans to spend up to $50 billion. In the lawsuit against the government, Serco Incorporated claims the federal selection process for the program was "arbitrary and capricious," and did not, as required by law, properly account for vendors' past performance, references, and technical capabilities.

Under Alliant, the government plans over the next 10 years to upgrade computer systems that power everything from Department of Defense networks to crucial, federal communications systems and infrastructure. Serco, a U.S. subsidiary of a U.K.-based contractor, is asking the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to re-open the selection process. The company has been joined in its lawsuit by vendors Nortel, Stanley Associates, CGI Federal, Centech Group and several other companies that were shut out of the Alliant project. The complaint was filed in late September.

News source: InformationWeek

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So in other words, even where security (national or otherwise) isn't an issue, we should go all isolationist/protectionist just because *other countries* do? Ever heard of *two wrongs don't make a right*?

The one thing I have found rather UNsurprising in the criticism of the behavior of the government of the United States over the decades of its existence (I'm going back all the way to 1800) is that the *pots* (other countries) of the world are *all* quick to call the *kettle* (the US) black, even though they are mostly guilty themselves of FAR worse hypocrisy (witness the screaming about interrogation abuses of prisoners in US military custody, whether sanctioned or not, compared to what happens in the home countries to terrorists under OFFICIAL sanction (I'm not talking the Arab countries here, as most of them were part of the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century, but Europe)).

Lastly, high unemployment appears to be strictly *regional* in presence (primarily in the old-industry centers in the Northeast and the Ohio River valley); such can be expected to occur when the consumer buys based on price *and* when domestic manufacturers are also outstripped on quality of manufacture (both of which have happened in the past three decades in terms of manufactured goods). Besides, what drove the US to become King of Manufacture in the twentieth century (taking the crown from the Ruhr valley in Germany, and, incidentally, helping to spark World War II)?

We as a society have to remember how we got to where we were and remember that we have to work VERY hard to STAY there once we get there (it's not a right to remain king once you get there; in fact, you have to work harder to STAY there, than you do to GET there); trade wars (and shooting wars) often result when nations forget that and seek to impose their will by fiat (because they think that being on top is a *natural state of affairs*). There IS no *natural supremacy* in ANYTHING (hasn't that been what the United States has been about since its founding?); to get to the top, you have to bust your butts. You have to work even harder to STAY there once you get there (apparently we have forgotten THAT part); the Europeans forgot that, and that's why we passed them in the twentieth century. We in the United States apparently forgot that, and that's why the Asian countries (not just the PRC, either) are kicking *our* butts.

I'm not an immigrant; I was born in the US (in Washington, DC, to be specific) to native-born American parents. Our rise to the top in industry was part of my learning in US History (the fall of Europe was part of World History); apparently we didn't remember the lesson we taught Europe. The proverb about those failing to learn from history being doomed to repeat it is holding up.

now why would they be so selective about who is developing their computer system in the first place? its a conspiracy i tell you... a conspiracy!

I have a tendency to agree with the boohoo. This sounds like a "we didn't get picked so we are going to tell" type of scenario.