Decision in FirstNet Protest Expected in Coming Weeks
Monday, March 06, 2017 | Comments

Rivada Networks said it expects the judge considering Rivada Mercury’s pre-award protest of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) contract award to make her decision in the next couple of weeks.

Rivada Networks, one of the companies involved in Rivada Mercury, released a brief statement following oral arguments in the case March 3. The company said it is hopeful that the judge will rule in favor of Rivada Mercury and allow it to compete for the contract.

Details of the hearing are not available because the case is sealed under a protection order intended to protect proprietary and other sensitive information in the case. Most documents, except for those addressing procedural matters and briefs from outside parties, are also sealed. No documents indicating the next steps in the case have been filed.

Rivada Mercury filed its lawsuit in November, alleging that the Department of Interior (DOI), which issued the request for proposals (RFP) on behalf of FirstNet, had unlawfully excluded it from the competitive range for the contract.

AT&T is the only company that publicly announced a bid still remaining in the competitive range. It is unknown if there are other companies that did not announce a bid still in the running.

The day before the hearing, the judge addressed a pair of filings from outside parties. A filing from a media organization asked the judge to allow access to portions of the hearing that did not contain proprietary information and to release redacted transcripts of any oral hearings in the case, as well as redacted versions of many of the filings in the case.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Elaine D. Kaplan denied that request and said that it would be too difficult to separate portions of the hearing that did not include proprietary information from those that did. On the request for the redacted documents, Kaplan said that any filings in the case would be available to the public in accordance with the protection order.

In a second filing, Kenneth Chrosniak, a member of an EMS company and a volunteer firefighter, and Eric Holdeman, an industry consultant, argued that the FirstNet RFP was invalid because it did not include requirements for environmental security. The two said that the lack of environmental security requirements conflicts with the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which created FirstNet and said that the organization “shall ensure the safety, security and resiliency of the network.”

The filing asked the judge to require FirstNet to address that issue. Kaplan denied the pair’s request to submit the brief, saying that it was untimely because the case was already set for an oral hearing and that it was not pertinent to the court’s decision because it focused on the RFP’s terms and not how FirstNet evaluated the proposals that it received.

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