TSA reopens bids for IT infrastructure contract

TSA has decided to reopen discussions and get fresh bids from companies vying to build and operate the agency's IT infrastructure.

The Transportation Security Administration has decided to reopen discussions with bidders on the agency's large IT infrastructure contract.

That move prompted the Government Accountability Office to dismiss the pre-award protest filed by CSRA, the incumbent on the contract. This was the second pre-award contract filed by CSRA involving the so-called "IMPACT" contract. Estimates put the contract’s value at between $500 million and $1 billion over about 10 years.

CSRA filed its second pre-award protest because TSA had issued so many amendments -- about 14 according to one source -- that it had lost control of the evaluation process.

Those amendments often triggered new discussions with bidders but with so many amendments the discussions were uneven. In other words, the bidders were not being provided with all of the same information.

There also were inconsistencies in what kind of revisions bidders were allowed to submit.

CSRA’s protest was trying to get TSA to address those issues.

TSA will reopen discussions with all the bidders and ask for another round of final proposals. The intention, a source told me, was that a new round of discussions would level the playing field. TSA would get a clean procurement as a result.

But that might not solve all of the problems with this contract, another source said. That is because the problems run deeper than the procurement process.

This source complained that TSA is asking for bids based on out-of-date requirements and don’t take advantage of modern technologies.

The contract essentially is being bid as a fixed-price contract that will be awarded on a low price, technically acceptable evaluation criteria.

At least one of the bidders apparently submitted a bid with very low pricing.

But the problem with this, the source told me, is that requirements in the solicitation do not reflect what TSA needs or wants.

If TSA awards a contract based on the current set of requirements, the winning contractor will almost immediately need to request modifications. And those modifications will allow it to bring in new technology and with it new pricing.

In other words, TSA is conducting a competition that isn’t reflective of what needs to be done.

The best thing is for TSA to take more time and rewrite the solicitation with requirements that reflect the more modern needs of the agency, the source told me.

There is a chance that TSA might do that now but the sources I spoke to aren’t very hopeful.

CSRA, which declined to comment, may have burned a bridge with its customer by filing two pre-award protests.

Most of the other bidders apparently were planning post-award protests if they were unsuccessful.

A source told me that TSA could likely correct the problems with the amendments and discussions in about 30 days. Then there will be a resubmission of final proposals followed by an evaluation. But that means doing nothing about the issue with the requirements.

Even without starting over, TSA is looking at several months before an award is made. And that award will likely kick off more protests even if CSRA decides they have done enough with their two pre-award protests.

So this saga will continue, which as I’ve written in earlier blog posts is kind of a tradition with this contract. It was first awarded to Unisys is 2002 and was known then as the IT Managed Services contract. Unisys then built TSA’s IT infrastructure after the agency was created.

It was called the IT Infrastructure Program when Computer Sciences Corp. (part of what is now CSRA) won the contract after fighting off several rounds of protests by Unisys.

Now it is the IT Management, Performance Analysis and Collaborative Technologies or "IMPACT" contract.

In addition to CSRA, sources said other bidders are CACI International, AECOM, DXC Technologies, and Science Applications International Corp.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.