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New team awarded $1B Savannah River Site paramilitary security contract

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SRS Sign, Pit Production Meeting (copy) (copy)

An entrance to the Savannah River Site near New Ellenton. The site is protected by a paramilitary security contractor.

The Department of Energy’s nuclear cleanup office on Friday awarded the next Savannah River Site paramilitary security contract to a Virginia-based joint venture, effectively booting an incumbent of more than 30 years in favor of a fresh face.

SRS Critical Infrastructure Security LLC beat out two other teams for the potentially decade-long, $1 billion deal. SCIS’s proposal, the Energy Department explained in an evening announcement, offered the best value to the government based on several familiar factors: approach, key personnel, track record and cost. The department further said SCIS would provide “a highly capable security team at SRS.”

The contract award can be protested – a formal process of airing grievances that can result in a reevaluation or reset of the bidding process. The final request for proposals was issued in early 2019. Savannah River Site manager Michael Budney in late September 2020 said final evaluation of “the best-and-final offers from all the proposers” was underway.

It was unclear as of Saturday if Centerra would contest the award; in 2018 and 2019, a Centerra spokesperson told the Aiken Standard that the contractor intended to submit a proposal “to continue our important job of protecting SRS security interests in accordance with the same high standards we have” long demonstrated.

If the award sticks, SRS Critical Infrastructure Security will replace Centerra, which has guarded the Savannah River Site for more than three decades and recently locked in an “excellent” DOE performance review, coupled with a $6.6 million purse.

Centerra’s term expires June 7. A 60-day transition period is expected.

The paramilitary security contractor at the Savannah River Site has a broad spectrum of responsibilities. On top of protecting the site’s boundaries, nuclear facilities, sensitive materials and employees, the selected team also conducts law enforcement operations and related investigations.

Members of SRS Critical Infrastructure Security include Securitas CIS, K2 Solutions, Spectra Tech and System Studies & Simulation.

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