Protestors line up against $11.5B HCaTS contract

So far, 26 protests have been filed by 23 companies complaining that they were left off of an $11.5 billion contract to provide training and other human capital services to the government.

So far, 26 protests have been filed by 23 companies complaining that they were unfairly left off a $11.5 billion contract established by the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management.

The agencies made awards to 109 companies under the Human Capital and Training Solutions contract. Of the winners, 72 awards were in the unrestricted portion, and 37 were set aside for small businesses.

The contract is a recompete of OPM’s Training and Management Assistance Support contract that was held by some 75 companies. Other protests may be coming.

The large business protestors so far:

  • Censeo Consulting
  • Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions
  • Colleague Consulting
  • Dougherty & Associates
  • Federal Management Partners
  • Fors Marsh Group
  • Grant Thornton
  • Human Resource Research Organization
  • NTT DATA Federal Services Inc.
  • RGS Associates
  • Sevatec Inc.

Protesting in small business awards are:

  • The Arbringer Co.
  • Barbaricum LLC
  • Business Management Associates
  • Cherokee Nation Management & Consulting - both
  • Comprehensive Professional and Proposal Services
  • Colleague Consulting LLC - both
  • Dougherty & Associates -both
  • Fors Marsh Group - both
  • KMS Solutions LLC
  • Knowledge Engineering Associates
  • M Powered Strategies
  • The McKinley Group
  • Pal Technologies
  • TeleSolv Consulting LLC

Three companies are protesting in both the large and small business category: Colleague Consuslting and Dougherty & Associates and Fors Marsh Group. Cherokee Nation Management & Consulting and Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions are separate businesses with the same owner.

Interestingly, Dell Federal is an incumbent on TAMS through its acquisition of Perot Systems, but it is not listed as one of the winners. Dell is selling that business as part of a transaction with NTT DATA Federal Services.

Dell has not protested yet, but still can. NTT DATA likely bid on the work thanks to its acquisition of Keane, which brought the company federal business. If Dell files its protest and the transaction between Dell and NTT DATA goes through (which it likely will), they’ll have two shots at getting onto the vehicle.

The protests were filed between May 17 and May 26, so the due dates for a decision are expected between late August and early September.

The contract is used for training and development, human capital strategy, and organizational performance improvement services to all federal agencies. HCaTS is part of a government-wide effort to “buy as one” through category management, the agencies said in a release.

GSA will be responsible for administering the contract, and OPM will handle the program management.

It is too early to tell how this one will go. GSA and OPM could pull back the awards and take corrective action, which could mean adding more winners to the vehicle. That would likely be the quickest solution. You could argue that it isn't much harder to manage 135 contractors versus 109.

Of course, GSA and OPM could fight it out and let GAO make a ruling.

If that happens, it will likely come down to two things: how well the agencies documented who to keep or cut and how well the protestors followed the instructions in the solicitation.

We’ll know before July 4th whether the agency will take corrective action. If we get into July, we’ll likely see this one go to a full GAO ruling.

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