Accenture retakes work, but new protest pending

Accenture has (for now) won back its $397.6 million contract. But Deloitte, which has won the contract twice, has filed its own protest objecting to the award.

Accenture Federal Services has won back its contract to support the insurance portal, following a series of bid protests.

But the protests aren’t over yet as Deloitte has filed its own challenge. Deloitte was previously picked by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare at least twice following protests by Accenture and subsequent corrective actions.

Accenture has held the contract since 2013 when it was pulled in to rescue the web portal. But in late 2019, Deloitte won a $397.6 million recompete of the contract under the CMS Strategic Partner Acquisition Readiness vehicle.

Protest number one out of Accenture came in December 2019. That resulted in a corrective action in February 2020 after CMS decided to take a second look at the award to Deloitte. CMS again picked Deloitte, then came protest number two from Accenture in June 2020.

CMS took a second corrective action to revise the solicitation. Accenture filed another protest because they didn’t like how CMS would consider past performance in the revised solicitation.

The company complained that the changes favored Deloitte and its experience with the state health insurance exchanges. GAO dismissed the protest and said the changes didn’t put Accenture at a disadvantage.

GAO also said Accenture’s objections were “speculative” because they didn’t know how CMS was going to evaluate the proposals.

Now we apparently know because CMS has picked Accenture. Now Deloitte is claiming the relaxation of the past performance requirements favored Accenture.

Deloitte filed its protest May 14 and a decision is expected by Aug. 23. Unless there is another corrective action of course.