The Government Accountability Office denied on Monday Glock’s request that the Army reconsider its decision to award a 10-year, $580 million handgun contract to Sig Sauer.
Glock filed the protest in February, claiming that the Army improperly evaluated its proposal and that the original Request for Proposal required the Army to award multiple contracts, according to the Army Times.
The GAO rejected both claims. Ralph White, managing associate general counsel for procurement law at GAO, said in an email to the Army Times that any errors made in proposal evaluations “did not prejudice Glock in the competition.” He also noted that the RFP required the Army to make only one award, although three were permitted under the proposal’s term.
In January the Army awarded the much-coveted Modular Handgun Contract to Sig Sauer for the company’s P320 to replace the M9 Beretta. The contract is worth nearly $600 million and requires the manufacture of over 300,000 handguns. Multiple firearms manufacturers submitted bids, but the Army ultimately decided to go with the relatively new P320.
“By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we have optimized private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines, and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters,” Army Acquisition Executive Steffanie Easter said in a January press release.
Glock already holds handgun contracts with the FBI, ATF, Army Rangers, and elements of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, but the Army contract is more lucrative than any of these by far. With such a large contract up for grabs, it was expected that one of the losing companies would challenge the Army’s decision.
The GAO was responsible for arbitrating the dispute, and they’ve spent the last three months analyzing Glock’s claims, led by attorney Stephanie Magnell. The GAO is a non-partisan, congressional advisory agency that acts as a watchdog for the federal government’s commercial contracts and as an ombudsman to issue legal decisions on bid disputes and protests.
Any of the three parties involved – Glock, Sig Sauer, or the Army – can request a reconsideration of the GAO’s denial. Each entity has 10 days after the decision to file the request, which gives Glock until June 15 to request one final look at the Army’s decision.
Sig Sauer released the P320 in 2014. It can be adapted to fire 9 mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W ammunition, though the Army will use the 9 mm variant.
Like the other handguns submitted to the competition, the P320’s modular design allows for maximum customizability. Users – in this case, members of the Army – can interchange grip sizes and barrel and slide lengths to achieve the desired feel and performance.