Ahtna Logistics LLC. v. United States

In the United States Court of Federal Claims No. 22-780C (Filed Under Seal: November 28, 2022) (Reissued for Publication: December 6, 2022) ) AHTNA LOGISTICS, LLC, ) ) Plaintiff, ) v. ) ) THE UNITED STATES, ) ) Defendant, ) ) and ) ) AKIMA INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION, LLC, ) ) Defendant- ) Intervenor. ) ) Robert K. Tompkins, Holland & Knight, LLP, Washington, D.C., for Plaintiff. Of counsel were Gordon N. Griffin, Hillary J. Freund, Kelsey M. Hayes, and Sean R. Belanger. Delisa M. Sanchez, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Defendant. With her on the briefs were Brian M. Boynton, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Patricia M. McCarthy, Director, and Elizabeth M. Hosford, Assistant Director. Of counsel was Javier A. Farfan, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Washington, D.C. C. Peter Dungan, Miles & Stockbridge P.C., Washington, D.C, for Defendant-Intervenor. With him on the briefs were Alfred M. Wurglitz, Tara D. Hopkins, and Rebecca S. Fallk. OPINION AND ORDER* SOLOMSON, Judge. This case illustrates that no matter how many variations of pasta are thrown at a wall, sometimes none of it sticks. 1 In this procurement dispute, Plaintiff, Ahtna Logistics, LLC (“Ahtna”), filed a 60-page complaint, containing 217 paragraphs, including eight counts of alleged error committed by Defendant, the United States, acting by and through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), a federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security. In particular, Ahtna challenges ICE’s award of an approximately $200 million contract to Ahtna’s competitor, Akima Infrastructure Protection, LLC (“AIP”), the Defendant-Intervenor. Pending before the Court are the parties’ respective motions for judgment on the administrative record (“MJARs”) pursuant to Rule 52.1 of the Rules of the Court of Federal Claims (“RCFC”). After reviewing the robust administrative record and parsing Ahtna’s claims, however, the Court finds some of Ahtna’s claims redundant and all of them unsupported. That is not to say that Ahtna’s arguments fail to raise a challenging question here and there, but such questions do not substitute for the evidence necessary to succeed on the merits. Moreover, Ahtna fails, in any event, to demonstrate prejudice on the merits — an issue, in this Court’s experience, to which plaintiffs all-too-often do not pay sufficient attention, usually at their own peril. In sum, the Court sides with the government and AIP and concludes that the government’s conduct of this procurement was quite well-documented, reasonable, and not contrary to law. I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND 2 A. The Procurement On August 11, 2021, ICE issued a request for proposals, Solicitation No. 70CDCR21R00000007 (the “Solicitation” or “RFP”), seeking “detention, food, and * Pursuant to the protective order in this case, the Court initially filed this opinion under seal on November 28, 2022, and directed the parties to propose redactions of confidential or proprietary information by December 5, 2022. ECF No. 53. The parties have jointly submitted proposed redactions to the Court. ECF No. 55. The Court adopts those …

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