Transactive Corp. does not take losing lightly.

The Austin, Tex.-based electronic benefits transfer specialist, which runs Texas' electronic benefits program, pursued its protest of Citibank's recent contract award from the Western States EBT Alliance last Thursday.

The company, a unit of G-Tech, the biggest operator of state lotteries, appealed to the executive director of the Colorado State Department of General Support Services after its May 24 protest was rejected by Colorado's Department of Human Services.

In another case where it lost out to Citibank, Transactive Corp. filed suit two weeks ago against the Northeast Coalition, a group of seven states forming an electronic system to deliver welfare benefits through automated teller machines and point of sale networks.

In the lawsuit, Transactive claimed the Northeast Coalition's request for proposal "was fundamentally flawed," said spokesman Marc Palazzo.

In its protest against Colorado's Department of Human Services - which negotiated on behalf of the six-state Western alliance - Transactive said the evaluating committee had been biased toward the Citicorp subsidiary by an independent consultant, Phoenix Planning & Evaluation.

Transactive also claimed one evaluator owns Citibank stock, which it said was "further confirmation that this procurement process was biased and compromised."

"I think they're grasping at straws," said Dwight Eisnach, spokesman for Colorado's Human Services Department. Mr. Eisnach said Colorado expected the losing bidder to take action, "given their history. With every other (lost bid) they've gone to the wall trying to protest."

He added, "We're confident we'll have Citibank as our vendor."

Terry McGrath, spokesman for the New York State Department of Social Services, the lead state for the Northeast Coalition, said the department does not comment on litigation.

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