Under the contract, which it has had for more than three years, Fulcra not only works directly with the Iraq government spokesman and ministers at the Defense and Interior ministries, but also carries out monitoring of media in Iraq, plans strategic messaging, and manages Web materials for English and Arabic sites supporting the Iraq command. Fulcra is the new name for the Lincoln Group, which as a Pentagon contractor in 2005 was found to have paid Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by American soldiers or its employees.
Fulcra lost its bid on the new contract in June and in July filed the first of three complaints with the GAO. It lost the first two and before the last one was settled, the firm filed a protest in October with the United States Court of Federal Claims, where it is pending. Meanwhile, Central Command was faced with a dilemma since Fulcra's complaint prevented SOS International from making preparations to begin work and keeping Fulcra in place was its only option.
Fulcra is claiming that SOS filed an "unreasonably low-priced proposal," according to its complaint before the Court of Federal Claims. Arguing the new contract was "largely similar" to the one Fulcra now holds, the firm said its current monthly price was $531,459 while the SOS bid averaged out to $158,620 a month for what were to be "largely similar" services. In the complaint, Fulcra argues that SOS's bid, which offered a 70 percent reduction in cost, was "unrealistic" and thus should have been"technically unacceptable" by Central Command.
Fulcra described the SOS bid as a "bait and switch" violation, where the offer misrepresents its costs with the hopes of winning the contract and then expects to be paid based on higher actual expenditures.
SOS's response to the allegations was sealed and a lawyer representing the firm said she would not comment on the case.
(Source: Washington Post)
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