|
|
|
The Telegram
  • Ilion firearms deal back on market after Colt protest

  • An $83.9 million contract previously awarded to Remington Arms in Ilion by the U.S. Army is back on the bidding market.

    Remington has been on a stay issued by the Army since May because of a protest submitted by Colt Defense to the U.S. Government Accountability Office over the M-4 rifle contract, said Ralph White, managing associate general counsel for procurement law in the accountability office.

    • email print
  • An $83.9 million contract previously awarded to Remington Arms in Ilion by the U.S. Army is back on the bidding market.
    Remington has been on a stay issued by the Army since May because of a protest submitted by Colt Defense to the U.S. Government Accountability Office over the M-4 rifle contract, said Ralph White, managing associate general counsel for procurement law in the accountability office.
    While most local officials are confident Remington will be re-awarded the contract, others wonder what losing it could mean for the future.
    “I think that could affect us quite a bit as far as getting future contracts with the military,” said Herkimer County Legislator Bernard Peplinski, R - Ilion.
    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D - N.Y., had said the contract for more than 100,000 M-4 rifles would create up to 60 jobs.
    Schumer and U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R - Barneveld, have worked closely with those involved to encourage a resolution and emphasize Remington’s capability to do the job.
    “I will continue to do all I can to ensure that the Army receives a quality product that can only be provided through the work of the talented workforce in Ilion that has defined Remington’s standard of excellence for generations,” Hanna said in an emailed statement.
    The issue? Colt has a five percent royalty agreement with the Army for its rights to the M-4 rifle model. A royalty is a payment to the owner of the “intellectual property,” White said.
    Colt argued in May its royalty wasn’t factored into the other manufacturers’ total prices and questioned the Army’s assessment of Remington’s past performance and production capability, according to a July decision issued by the Government Accountability Office.
    While the decision dismissed the challenge of the assessment to Remington’s past performance and production capability, it was agreed the instructions on how the royalty was determined were not clear because the Army didn’t notify Colt or the competing manufacturers the royalty would be subject only to parts of the product.
    And so Colt protested again in August, arguing this was inconsistent with the agreement, but in mid-November that was dismissed, and the accountability office determined it would not resolve a dispute involving the specifics of the agreement.
    This is something that must be settled between the Army and Colt.
    Schumer said now the royalty and the bid will be dealt with separately, it puts manufacturers such as Remington on an even playing field.
    “Now there is a simple bidding process where the two can compete on far more equal terms,” he said. “That’s good no matter what. That’s a victory.”
    Colt officials did not wish to comment.
    Page 2 of 2 - Teddy Novin, director of marketing and public affairs for Remington, did not respond to requests for information on other contracts.
    “We are awaiting next steps and remain confident the Army will make the right decision for its personnel and the American taxpayer,” he said in an emailed statement.
    There’s no certainty Remington will win the bid, Schumer said, but if it doesn’t, it would come as a surprise.
    “Remington is in an extremely strong position,” he said. “Most people expect Remington to win the bid.”

      calendar