Firm files protest over Concur’s $1.4B government contract, dubs it an unfair 15-year monopoly

Shares of Concur Technologies soared earlier this month after the Redmond company was awarded a $1.4 billion contract to provide travel and entertainment expense management services to the government, with CEO Steve Singh saying at the time that they were “thrilled” with the decision.

But not everyone is happy about it.

In a protest filed June 15th with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, one of the three existing contract holders, CW Government Travel of Arlington, Virginia, argued that the contract “creates a 15-year monopoly” for Concur.

The protest, laid out over a 46-page document embedded below, calls into question the bidding process and questions why Concur was chosen given that their system has never been used by federal travelers. CWT, which does business as CWTSatoTravel, wrote:

“In this procurement, there was simply no reasonable or rational basis for GSA to give Concur a monopoly on a major services contract valued at more than a billion dollars— particularly because the period of performance is an unprecedented 15 years. Concur has never provided end-to-end electronic travel services to the agencies that would be required to use the system and has proposed a developmental solution that has not yet been fielded in support of a Government agency. In contrast, the team consisting of CWT and Northrop Grumman (both ETS 1 incumbents collectively servicing approximately 70% of civilian agency travelers) is currently and successfully providing the electronic travel services called for in the Solicitation.”

CWT also said that the evaluation process was “unequal” and “unfair,” suggesting that its marginal rating from the government was “highly suspect.” They also argued that there is risk associated going with one vendor, noting that Concur has no incentive to lower prices. Attorneys for CWT added that Concur is a “totally inexperienced federal travel service contractor” and has “no actual familiarity with the unique systems and travel requirements of 70+ federal agencies that it will be serving.”

We’ve asked Concur for comment, and we’ll update this post when we hear back.

Here’s the full letter which was sent on June 15th, and first reported by Federal Times.

Concur Protest