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Old October 3, 2012, 08:25 AM   #1
plouffedaddy
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M4 Contract Protest Update...

http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gears...icit-new-bids/


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I just received word from the U.S. Government Accountability Office they’ve received written notification from the U.S. Army indicating the service will implement the GAO’s suggested remedy after Colt’s protest was sustained over the Army’s $84m contract award to Remington Arms Company for the production of M4 and M4A1 carbines.

This means the Army will soon seek new bids in an amended solicitation for the M4 contract. Look to the amended solicitation to clarify how parties must take into account the licensing payments due Colt that date back to the 1997 M4 Addendum.

The Army’s letter to the GAO was received September 24. As per the Competition and Contracting Act of 1984, the U.S. Army had 65 days to respond to the GAO’s July 24 recommendation.

“We’ve received notification from the Army that it will implement the GAO recommendation and we are reviewing next steps with our Defense team,” says Teddy Novin, Freedom Group’s Director of Public Affairs. “We look forward to working with the Army as we move forward with this process.”

Behind the scenes, sources at Remington are not happy at the prospect of a recompetition since their pricing was exposed as part of the original award. Some have suggested Remington may simply protest the outcome of this second process should they lose and carry on a cycle of protest over the contract. I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that the merits of another protest will ultimately come up against the fact that the Army was complying with a corrective action suggested by the government. Dead end.

I’ll be interested to see if the Army splits the contract between Colt and Remington in a bid to appease both parties. If you’re new to the Remington M4 contract story, there’s more background in our previous articles.
I figured since many of us are current military members, former military, or supporters of our military this may be of interest here. The article is dated Oct 1st so this is pretty new information.
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Old October 3, 2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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So, the government found a better deal, the old supplier complained and the government caved?

Great....
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:00 PM   #3
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I love Colt's products, but their fleecing of the American public over the past five decades with regards to M16/M4 contracts (not the weapon itself) borders on the criminal.

Just saying.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the update. I'm following the "process" with great interest; Navy vet and have been paying taxes since 1970 & and will probably be payin as long as I live! I'm hopin to see the AR market continue to flood and prices drop; I'm on the verge of buying an entry level to do battle with my AK74 clone, at the range.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:20 PM   #5
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The Colt manufacturers are just as bad as their fanboys. As soon as someone says they're going with a different brand the kicking and screaming begins
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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Just so we are clear, when I carried a 16 in RVN, I did carry a Harrington and Richardson . Colt still grabs me though. I've been getting jacked for AR snobbery since 1985, when someone screwed up and asked me what I preferred. I really don't see a pinch of snuff difference between the milspecs.
However I do own an SP1 and an SP2.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gears...icit-new-bids/
Look to the amended solicitation to clarify how parties must take into account the licensing payments due Colt that date back to the 1997 M4 Addendum.
Seems from the article that the licensing payments are part of, if not one of the main issues. Will be interesting to see how the next round goes...

Frankly I dont see that huge of an issue with going back through the process, because I am sure that the company who has the rights to a design will seek to be paid for the use of those rights if another company underbids their cost. Doesnt matter if its Colt, Remington, or the New Age Widget Company.

Edit to add:

Just in case others are curious, the royalty is 5%, see source below.

Link: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...etition-06942/

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Colt-M4-Data-Rights-The-Individual-Carbine-Competition-06942/
Those terms also state that the US Army would have to pay 5% in royalties to Colt, for every M4/M4A1 carbine and/or their unique parts procured from second sources, for another 26 years – through Dec 24/37.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; October 3, 2012 at 05:48 PM.
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:34 PM   #8
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Frankly I dont see that huge of an issue with going back through the process, because I am sure that the company who has the rights to a design will seek to be paid for the use of those rights if another company underbids their cost.
Because the cost of going through the process yet again will likely be a colossal waste of taxpayer money.
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Old October 6, 2012, 05:00 PM   #9
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And our government started caring about that when?
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Old October 6, 2012, 06:17 PM   #10
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Remingtom may build an m4 as good as Colt. But Colt has it down. I like to see our troops get the best. With Colt I believe they do.
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Old October 6, 2012, 07:18 PM   #11
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I am glad to hear about Remington's contracts. I hope they hold them to it. I have no problem with FN, Remington, Sabre Defense, Colt, HK, or any other company that makes them for the government. As long as they are built to spec, competition is a great thing. It is where improvements and innovations spawn from. I have no doubt that Remington will do a great job.
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Old October 7, 2012, 03:51 PM   #12
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FALshootist:

Quote:
Remingtom may build an m4 as good as Colt. But Colt has it down. I like to see our troops get the best. With Colt I believe they do.
Well stated, Colt has done a great job since about 1963.
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Old October 8, 2012, 07:26 AM   #13
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It needs to be a fair contest.

Underbidding a contract by "forgetting" royalties, isn't a fair contest.

There are a lot of shennanigan that often go on behind the scenes in all of these deals.

I don't blame Colt for protesting. If you lost a contract because someone underbid you by say 3% and the contract was awarded by not taking into account the 5% paid to you for the design is not a fair contest. That deal isn't actually mathematically cheaper.

Nor is submitting a bid based on modifying the delivery requirements, which is one of the things I suspect may be part of the argument. Remington is saying it isn't fair because now Colt "knows their bidding strategy".

When I used to take bids from suppliers for equipment, if a company bid a job to a modified specification and it was acceptable, I gave all companies an opportunity to bid to that modified specification. Otherwise, they were told to bid to the specifications.
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:15 AM   #14
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Yeah... that would have been part of the cost proposal; Remington technically could have been disqualified.

Personally, I hope some others are invited to the table for the recompete as Colt has been gouging the DoD for years. Ideally FN would be my choice as their quality control seems to more consistent than Colt's.
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Old October 8, 2012, 11:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Because the cost of going through the process yet again will likely be a colossal waste of taxpayer money
Great point

I'm a contractor and there are a few other things to consider .

If the contract was awarded with out the royalties included in the contract. They would still have to be paid . The taxpayers would most likely get the bill for that aswell .

I think this will really hurt Remington now as well . Now that everybody knows what and how much they bid the contract for . They will in essence now be bidding against themselves . Im sure someone will come in at there original bid price but that will include the royalties .

Thats what I'd do . Maybe even a little less then that just to get the huge contract . I then would make that up somewhere else down the line . I'm sure there will be some sort of change order for a screw , pin , detent and thats where you make up the differance .
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Old October 8, 2012, 11:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow Hunter
It needs to be a fair contest.

Underbidding a contract by "forgetting" royalties, isn't a fair contest.

There are a lot of shennanigan that often go on behind the scenes in all of these deals.

I don't blame Colt for protesting. If you lost a contract because someone underbid you by say 3% and the contract was awarded by not taking into account the 5% paid to you for the design is not a fair contest. That deal isn't actually mathematically cheaper.
I agree, it needs to be a fair bidding contest. Unfortunatly, the M4 contract has been plaqued by mishandling of the bid process in the past as well. Some may remember that there was a solicitation for accessories for the M4, which caused the Navy to distribute the TDP (technical data package) to other companies. As a result, its been an issue since when there is a bid for M4's.

FN, has tried to make unsolicited bids in the past, and has even gone to court over it, but lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
Quote:
Because the cost of going through the process yet again will likely be a colossal waste of taxpayer money
Great point
While I agree it is a costly process and I wish there was a way to avoid it, a completely honest and fair bid process is what I feel is the right thing to do for all the companies involved.

With the mishandlings in the past with the M4, the only way to get past them and move forward is to finally make sure this and any other bid process honest and fair.

For those who feel that going forward with an unfair bid process (according to the original posted article) is the right thing to do, care to explain why?
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Old October 8, 2012, 12:41 PM   #17
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Please correct me if I'm wrong

This is what makes the hole thing unfair

Quote:
“The Army provided the amended Solicitation to vendors whose previous proposals fell within the competitive range on 21 SEP 12,
Quote:
“The number and names of the vendors are not releasable as they are competition sensitive
EDIT

Sounds like a great way to corrupt the hole bidding process to force a redue .Because they can blame it on a giant entity like the army .No one can be held responsible so we just put the hole thing out to bid again .

Not sure thats fair either .

I geuss in a democracy it really is the only fair way to do move forward .

I sure would like to know who leaked this info cus Im sure its comon knowledge that is not OK to do so . Did someone leak it on purpose cus they did not like the outcome or was it just an woopsie .

.
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Old October 8, 2012, 12:49 PM   #18
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Nope, you're correct. I used to go to the FN plant frequently for work and I asked them about the bidding process and they mentioned exactly what you just did.
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Old October 8, 2012, 12:50 PM   #19
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Sorry but Freedom Group can suck it....

They just gobble up big name companies (Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster etc..) for their "name" then cut corners in QC and production without lowering the price on the product.

They are the walmart of firearms companies and I have no sympathy for them.
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Old February 26, 2013, 12:53 AM   #20
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Follow up.

Just thought some here would like to know... FN wins the contract.

http://kitup.military.com/2013/02/ar...ntract-fn.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by military.com
FN Manufacturing has outbid Remington Arms Company and Colt Defense LLC., to win a contract worth just under $77 million to make M4A1s for the U.S. Army, according to an industry source.
Read more: http://kitup.military.com/2013/02/ar...#ixzz2Lzec3IcW
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:44 AM   #21
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as much as I did not like how this all went down . I think FN will make a better firearm then Remington .
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:34 AM   #22
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I thought the Army already had a high frequency of jams with the AR and that's why they were looking at piston drive. Low Bid isn't always best. Remingotn has had issues keeping up Marling quality. I gotta wonder how well they will fill a government contract?
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:27 PM   #23
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I thought the Army already had a high frequency of jams with the AR and that's why they were looking at piston drive. Low Bid isn't always best. Remingotn has had issues keeping up Marling quality. I gotta wonder how well they will fill a government contract?
The M4 is a very reliable weapon---I worked on M4 ranges for 3 years and can tell you that easily 90% (probably more) of malfunctions are due to improper maintenance (user error) or bad magazines.
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:38 PM   #24
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I thought the Army already had a high frequency of jams with the AR and that's why they were looking at piston drive.
this is complete and utter nonsense propagated by people trying to justify their purchases of $2500 piston driven rifles. SEAL teams acquiring a very small amount of HK416s was incredibly over publicized by HKs marketing dept to make their weapons more marketable, the US armed forces are not looking to replace the M16/4 any time soon and couldn't afford to do so even if they wanted.

L
Quote:
ow Bid isn't always best. Remington has had issues keeping up Marlin quality. I gotta wonder how well they will fill a government contract?
this is also a half truth based on a completely different situation. Cerberus owns Remington, DPMS and Bushmaster, as far as I know FA versions from all three makers are available to law enforcement. This company is not new to AR15s.

do I think they can make the same quality M16s as Colt? probably not for the price they are giving but from what I saw on active duty, there was nothing special about the colts we were carrying, if money was no object I think a Seekins Precision, Larue, or other top tier company would be a perfect combat rifle but money is tight and unless the military is willing to give pay cuts to it's fighting men and women(which would undoubtedly cause security problems) they will have to continue to try and find better deals on their weapons.
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
the US armed forces are not looking to replace the M16/4 any time soon and couldn't afford to do so even if they wanted.
If I am not mistaken, the USMC just adopted HK's gas piston operated AR as the, "Infantry Automatic Rifle."

I understand that it is not intended to be issued to all Marines, but that could be the beginning of a significant change.
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