Palantir Causes Army to Slam on the DCGS Anti Skid Brakes

July 19, 2016

My hunch is that there are some unhappy campers in the US Army’s DCGS program. Hey, delays interrupt the billing cycles for affected vendors. Based on my experience with some of DC’s biggest defense contractors, billing is often Job One for some folks. It may also be Jobs Two and Three as well. The work does come along, however.

Why mash the brake peddle in the US Army’s One:1?

Navigate to “Army Will Hold Off on DCGS-A Award as Palantir Lawsuit Plays Out.” The write up states:

Palantir Technologies filed a lawsuit with the court on June 30 against the Army for issuing what it says is an unlawful procurement solicitation for the service’s Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) that presumably shuts the company’s commercial offering — the Gotham platform — out of the competition. Palo-Alto, California-based Palantir argues that the lawsuit was necessary because the Army should be stopped from moving forward on an unlawful and risk-prone software development project that would reinvent the wheel at a very high price. The Silicon Valley company has also filed a motion for permanent injunction to prevent the Army from moving forward with its DCGS-A program until the court has made a ruling on the case.

The June 30, 2016, complaint is sealed. This means that an outsider in Harrod’s Creek cannot read the document. From the information finding its way to my hollow in the Bluegrass State, Palantir perceives that the US Army behaved in an irrational manner. Okay. I heard that Palantir interprets the procurement guidelines and rules one way. The US Army sees procurement procedures in a different way. Palantir may be wearing Zenni optical eye glasses, and the US Army DCGS team the nifty ATN PVS7-3P goggles.

I am looking forward to the legal dust up; that is, if the information becomes available. Based on Palantir’s hassles with IBM i2, the information was sealed just like the June 30, 2016 complaint against the US Army. Without information, it is difficult to know what’s what.

My experience suggests that the DCGS award is important because it involves a couple of hundred million dollars. Also, the project is a multi year thing. That means that the vendor who can get his or her teeth into the prime contract can gnaw for years. The $200 million is just one slice of the cash cow.

Another thing is I surmise, although you, gentle reader, may not agree. Litigation against the US government often makes it difficult for some of those involved to have an incentive to “friend” some folks and get into a constructive social relationship. There is nothing like the lingering stench of a burnt bridge to spoil dynamite chicken at a green bean.

For the individuals who need a functioning multi source intelligence system, you will have to become more creative. The Harrod’s Creek approach might work. With no information germane to a topic, one can rely on gossip, Web articles, or guesses.

Stephen E Arnold, July 19, 2016


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