JW Holding Group & Associates Protests Marine Corps Food Service Contract Award

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc.

    PORTER, Ind., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The protest, filed March 23, 2001,
 by J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc.(JWHGA), an African-American small
 business food service company in Indiana, alleged that the Marine Corps failed
 to properly assess the risks and conducted an inadequate price realism
 analysis of Sodexho Marriott Services, the food service firm formed three
 years ago in a merger between French-owned Sodexho and Marriott Management
 Services.
     The United States Marine Corps has suspended the implementation of its
 West Coast Garrison Messhall Food Service Contract to Sodexho Marriott
 Services this week, pending the outcome of protests filed with the General
 Accounting Office.
     "It is absolutely unbelievable that we have had a Buy American Act since
 1933 that directs the federal government to buy American-grown food and
 American-produced goods, but it doesn't require the U.S. government to
 contract with American-owned companies for contracts such as these," said
 James W. Stokes, Jr., Chairman and CEO of JW Holding Group & Associates.
     JWHGA has been in the food purchasing, distribution and service business
 for nearly 30 years.  It is the only minority-owned, small business full line
 food distributor in the country and its subsidiary, eQuality Seal is the
 nation's only minority-owned buying group.  Additionally, JWHGA has been a
 top-rated prime vendor with the Department of Defense.  JWHGA was the only
 small business to successfully bid on the Marine Corps contract.
     The challenge to the $414 million contract alleges that the Marine Corps
 appeared ignorant of the announced plans by Sodexho Alliance to purchase
 Sodexho Marriott Services making this firm entirely French-owned and
 controlled.  The legal challenge also contends that the food safety record
 of Sodexho Marriott Services was not examined.  This record includes 24
 cases of salmonellosis at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. in
 1999; 6 cases of E. coli that led to the termination of the contract between
 Sodexho Marriott and the State University of New York at Albany in 2000; and
 the January 2001 incident at the Barnstable, MA High School in which a
 cafeteria worker sliced off part of a thumb which was then served to a student
 in a turkey and tomato sandwich.
     The protest alleges that Sodexho priced its services artificially low in
 order to preclude the Marine Corps from selecting the first ever minority-
 owned small business contractor for a major food service contract.  The
 protest notes that Sodexho's proposal was some $20 million lower than its own
 bid for the companion East regional contract.
     The protest asks the Marine Corps to terminate Sodexho Marriott's contract
 and either award the contract to JW Holding Group, or reopen the procurement
 to ensure that there is full disclosure of foreign ownership, food safety, and
 labor issues.
     JWHGA has a successful track record with large government contracts.
 JWHGA has been a successful Prime Vendor for the delivery of food products to
 the Department of Justice and to the Department of Defense, most recently by
 provisioning all U.S. troops in Bosnia.
     During the Bosnia contract JWHGA won many awards for activities related to
 using small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities, women,
 disabled, and veterans.  Seventy-two percent of the food products purchased
 for the contract were from these small businesses, 99.1 percent of the
 products were shipped with independent truckers and the fill rating was
 99.5 percent.  The company received awards for its achievements including Most
 Valuable Vendor, Outstanding Socio-Economic Program, and best Mentoring
 Program.
     "We've worked on this RFP for almost a full year.  We've established a
 tremendous network of minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned small
 businesses, and minority and limited resource agricultural producers to
 source, prepare and deliver high quality food and service to the Marines.  Our
 food service division is comprised of former Marines with more than 65 years
 of food service experience.  To these former Marines and small businesses who
 have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this effort, the message
 from the Marines is clear, 'you can cook, wash dishes, be janitors, and be a
 Marine in the service of your country, but you don't have what it takes to run
 your own food service company.'  Tragically, the U.S. Marine Corps is turning
 a blind eye to small American-owned businesses while it embraces contracting
 with foreign-owned and controlled multi-billion dollar conglomerates," Mr.
 Stokes concluded.
 
     CONTACT:  Kim Hunt of J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc., 219-926-2500,
 ext. 221, or jwstokes@jwholding.com /
 
     This release was issued through DigitalWork.com - Your Business Workshop.
 For more information visit: http://www.digitalwork.com.
 
 

SOURCE J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc.
    PORTER, Ind., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The protest, filed March 23, 2001,
 by J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc.(JWHGA), an African-American small
 business food service company in Indiana, alleged that the Marine Corps failed
 to properly assess the risks and conducted an inadequate price realism
 analysis of Sodexho Marriott Services, the food service firm formed three
 years ago in a merger between French-owned Sodexho and Marriott Management
 Services.
     The United States Marine Corps has suspended the implementation of its
 West Coast Garrison Messhall Food Service Contract to Sodexho Marriott
 Services this week, pending the outcome of protests filed with the General
 Accounting Office.
     "It is absolutely unbelievable that we have had a Buy American Act since
 1933 that directs the federal government to buy American-grown food and
 American-produced goods, but it doesn't require the U.S. government to
 contract with American-owned companies for contracts such as these," said
 James W. Stokes, Jr., Chairman and CEO of JW Holding Group & Associates.
     JWHGA has been in the food purchasing, distribution and service business
 for nearly 30 years.  It is the only minority-owned, small business full line
 food distributor in the country and its subsidiary, eQuality Seal is the
 nation's only minority-owned buying group.  Additionally, JWHGA has been a
 top-rated prime vendor with the Department of Defense.  JWHGA was the only
 small business to successfully bid on the Marine Corps contract.
     The challenge to the $414 million contract alleges that the Marine Corps
 appeared ignorant of the announced plans by Sodexho Alliance to purchase
 Sodexho Marriott Services making this firm entirely French-owned and
 controlled.  The legal challenge also contends that the food safety record
 of Sodexho Marriott Services was not examined.  This record includes 24
 cases of salmonellosis at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. in
 1999; 6 cases of E. coli that led to the termination of the contract between
 Sodexho Marriott and the State University of New York at Albany in 2000; and
 the January 2001 incident at the Barnstable, MA High School in which a
 cafeteria worker sliced off part of a thumb which was then served to a student
 in a turkey and tomato sandwich.
     The protest alleges that Sodexho priced its services artificially low in
 order to preclude the Marine Corps from selecting the first ever minority-
 owned small business contractor for a major food service contract.  The
 protest notes that Sodexho's proposal was some $20 million lower than its own
 bid for the companion East regional contract.
     The protest asks the Marine Corps to terminate Sodexho Marriott's contract
 and either award the contract to JW Holding Group, or reopen the procurement
 to ensure that there is full disclosure of foreign ownership, food safety, and
 labor issues.
     JWHGA has a successful track record with large government contracts.
 JWHGA has been a successful Prime Vendor for the delivery of food products to
 the Department of Justice and to the Department of Defense, most recently by
 provisioning all U.S. troops in Bosnia.
     During the Bosnia contract JWHGA won many awards for activities related to
 using small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities, women,
 disabled, and veterans.  Seventy-two percent of the food products purchased
 for the contract were from these small businesses, 99.1 percent of the
 products were shipped with independent truckers and the fill rating was
 99.5 percent.  The company received awards for its achievements including Most
 Valuable Vendor, Outstanding Socio-Economic Program, and best Mentoring
 Program.
     "We've worked on this RFP for almost a full year.  We've established a
 tremendous network of minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned small
 businesses, and minority and limited resource agricultural producers to
 source, prepare and deliver high quality food and service to the Marines.  Our
 food service division is comprised of former Marines with more than 65 years
 of food service experience.  To these former Marines and small businesses who
 have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this effort, the message
 from the Marines is clear, 'you can cook, wash dishes, be janitors, and be a
 Marine in the service of your country, but you don't have what it takes to run
 your own food service company.'  Tragically, the U.S. Marine Corps is turning
 a blind eye to small American-owned businesses while it embraces contracting
 with foreign-owned and controlled multi-billion dollar conglomerates," Mr.
 Stokes concluded.
 
     CONTACT:  Kim Hunt of J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc., 219-926-2500,
 ext. 221, or jwstokes@jwholding.com /
 
     This release was issued through DigitalWork.com - Your Business Workshop.
 For more information visit: http://www.digitalwork.com.
 
 SOURCE  J.W. Holding Group & Associates, Inc.