Air Force stands by latest NetCents II Products decision

While the number of bid protests against the NetCents II Products contract has risen to six, the Air Force says its decision is sound, and will not be taking a corrective action this time. So, what happens now?

As we’ve followed the troubled NetCents II Products contract through its three rounds of award decisions, we’ve always reached out to the Air Force for comment.

Generally, they don’t have much to say because it involves ongoing bid protests. So, as the protests over the latest awards poured in this week – we are up to six with Presidio’s filing -- I contacted the Air Force, but I had low expectations.

Late yesterday I received a statement from the Air Force via email, and I tacked it on at the end of my analysis of the source selection decision document we obtained.

However, I wanted to give the statement its own treatment because I didn’t want it to seem I had buried the statement, and plus, the statement is newsworthy.

This is what they sent:

The Air Force applied significant efforts to plan and review each step of the corrective action and re-award for the NETCENTS 2 Products awards. We understand the disappointment of offerors not selected for award, but continue to believe that the corrective action and award decisions are sound.

So, they will not be voluntarily taking a corrective action as they did in rounds one and two, and are standing by their decision, which I think is great. Letting the bid protests run their course will shine some light on the process. It’ll also be good to have a third-party – the Government Accountability Office – give its opinion on how the Air Force is conducting this procurement.

The deadline for GAO’s ruling is early December, but before then, the Air Force has thirty days from the filing of the protests to provide GAO with a report addressing the protest arguments.

Then the protestors have 10 days after getting the Air Force’s report to file comments – if they don’t, their protest is dismissed. After the comment period, GAO can ask for more information, hold a hearing or recommend alternative dispute resolution.

If the Air Force continues to stick to its decision, there will still be a lot of activity over the next few months; it just won’t be in the public domain, but we’ll be doing our best to keep track.

Stay tuned.