Schumer Announces Stalled Navy Contract Won By Rome Research Will Finally Begin This Month
Just Three Weeks Ago, Schumer Fired Shots Over Navy's Bow Urging it to Quit Dragging its Feet and Finalize its Contract with RRC
Rome Company Won Competition to Perform Critical Navy Functions Last October, but the Navy Had Inexplicably Pulled Back
Schumer: Our Message was Heard Loud and Clear, and Now a Robust RRC Can Put Oneida Residents to Work
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Department of the Navy will finalize its contract with the Rome Research Corporation (RRC), locking up a coveted contract for the company and its 200 local employees. Today's announcement came three weeks after Schumer pressured the Navy to immediately finalize the contract, which had stalled following RRC winning the competitive bidding process in October 2006. RRC will now manage and oversee certain operations of the elite Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC). "We fired some warning shots over the Navy's bow and they did the right thing and will finalize the contract with Rome Research. Rome Research won the contract fair and square and jumped through every required hurdle, I am pleased that now they will be able to put people to work on this vital national security endeavor," said Senator Schumer. "Today's news is terrific for the entire Oneida County community and means that a key local company will remain dynamic and generate goodpaying jobs," added Schumer. In a letter today from BJ Penn, Assistant Secretary for Installations and Environment, the Navy announced its intention to finalize the contract and allow RRC to commence work by the end of May, 2007. Although RRC won the competitive bidding process in October 2006, the Navy frustratingly failed to provide the requisite Congressional Notification that represented the last hurdle before the contract could begin. In January, 2007, RRC was officially awarded the contract to manage and oversee certain operations of the Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC). This $33 million performance decision was made after a competitive bidding process during which RRC demonstrated that they could perform the NAVSOC functions for 11% less than the Navy, providing a $4.3 million savings to the government. As part of the Navy's A76 competitive sourcing process, RRC spent over a year working with the Navy, making 9 different submissions to the department to demonstrate that they could do the work effectively and at a lower cost than the government. In an effort to push the Navy to complete the deal, on April 25, 2007, Schumer sent a personal letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter calling for the Navy to move forward with the contract. In his letter, Schumer wrote, "In order for the contract to commence, it is my understanding that the Navy must now provide congressional notification of the award. As the award was made over 6 months ago, I would urge you to do this with all due speed."
Under the terms of the award, Rome Research Corporation would be charged with managing four existing facilities operated by NAVSOC, including outlets in Port Magu, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Bangor, Maine and Finegayan, Guam NAVSOC is responsible for operating, managing and maintaining a variety of strategically important satellite systems on behalf of the Navy. These satellites provide critical information and intelligence gathering resources, as well as navigational and logistical support to military outposts throughout the globe. Overall management of NAVSOC would be performed in Rome, NY. RRC has approximately 600 employees around the world and 200 in New York. They currently provide support functions to several Department of Defense projects throughout the United States and around the world. This A76 contract would provide work for existing employees and allow RRC to hire 10 new managers. Since the initial decision, this contract has received, and stood up to, the utmost scrutiny both before and after it was rewarded. After the contract was granted a protest was filed by an Agency Tender Official with the General Accounting Office (GAO) objecting to the deal. The GAO dismissed this protest. As recently as last Friday, April 20th, an internal investigation by the Navy again cleared RRC to undertake this work.