The Defense Department on Thursday picked a new winner for its multibillion dollar contract to move military service members’ household goods around the globe, ending the latest chapter in a procurement saga that’s dragged on for more than two years so far.
The Global Household Goods (GHC) contract went to Homesafe Alliance, LLC, a consortium of companies led by KBR. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity award is estimated to be worth nearly $6.2 billion over four years, with at least 40% of that total figure going to small, subcontracted movers, according to U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM).
TRANSCOM has long planned to use the GHC contract to completely restructure the way the military handles household goods moves. Under the current system, DoD contracts directly with individual shippers on a move-by-move basis, making it difficult to manage demand, particularly during the peak summer moving season. Under the new system, the GHC contractor is tasked with managing the entire moving infrastructure, including all of the logistics involved with contracting with individual movers and ensuring the military moving system has adequate supplies of trucks and manpower in the right places.
“This is an opportunity to raise the standard for our families, attract quality capacity to the program, and introduce a level of accountability absent today,” Gen. Jaqueline Van Ovost, TRANSCOM’s commander said in a statement. “Once implemented, this contract will positively impact thousands of service members, civilian employees and their families each year.”
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The department said TRANSCOM and Homesafe will start implementing the contract by integrating their IT systems, but that’s only the beginning of what’s expected to be a long and complex phase-in process. The new GHC contractor isn’t expected to start handling military moves until late 2022 at the earliest, assuming the transition isn’t delayed by bid protests.
Thursday’s award represents TRANSCOM’s third attempt to award the GHC contract. In April 2020, the command awarded the contract – then valued at $7.2 billion – to American Roll On Roll Off Carrier Group (ARC).
The two losing bidders – Homesafe and Connected Global Solutions then protested the contract, prompting TRANSCOM to say it would take corrective action. But officials ultimately decided they wouldn’t need to take corrective action after all, and re-awarded the contract to ARC.
The losing bidders filed a second round of protests in July. The Government Accountability Office sustained both of them, finding that TRANSCOM had engaged in “pervasive” violations of federal procurement rules in choosing ARC as the winning bidder, partly because officials had not done enough to ensure ARC was a responsible contractor.
In a brief statement Thursday, ARC indicated it had not yet decided whether to protest the award to Homesafe.
The company is “disappointed” by the outcome of the latest award, officials said. “We are awaiting our debriefing by TRANSCOM and are evaluating our options.”
“We are honored to partner with the military community around the globe,” Alan Thompson, Homesafe’s CEO said in a statement. “Combining our Homesafe Connect advanced digital solution and global program management expertise, we will dramatically improve the relocation experience for our service members, civilians and their families. Our solution will significantly expand and reward quality performance and is an important catalyst in the transformation of the military household goods moving industry.”