ISC protests FedBizOpps contract award

The revamp saga of the federal government's procurement site shows no sign of drawing to a close, as one of the losing bidders has filed a claim with the Court of Federal Claims in Washington.

Information Sciences Corp. of Silver Spring, Md., the incumbent vendor, is suing the General Services Administration over a contract the agency awarded to Symplicity Corp. of Arlington, Va., in December.

The Section 8(a) firm received a $17.4 million contract that includes three base years and five one-year options. GSA awarded Symplicity the contract in June, but pulled it back after protests by losing bidders.

GSA reopened the competition by issuing an amendment diminishing the requirement for integrated IT security between the system and other agency applications.

After GSA reawarded the contract to Symplicity, both losing bidders protested. Development Infostructure Corp. (Devis) of Arlington, Va., protested to the Government Accountability Office shortly after the December award. But GAO dismissed Devis' protest once ISC protested to the federal court.

Dan Gordon, GAO's associate general counsel, said GAO bid protest regulations call for it to shut down any case if the same case by another party is brought before a federal court.

"We don't want to have a situation where we have different decisions," Gordon said.

ISC contends that GSA did not reasonably evaluate the company's proposal, said William Shook, ISC's attorney and a partner with Preston, Gates and Ellis LLP of Washington.

"Probably the one thing that strikes me as most interesting in all of this is the issue of risk was worth half of the technical evaluation and GSA rated Symplicity and ISC equal in even though Symplicity's cost was one-third of the government estimate of $52 million over eight years," Shook said. "It is unreasonable to assume that a company bidding one-third the government estimate and which has never delivered a system as complex as FedBizOpps would be the same risk as a company who developed and operates FedBizOpps."

Devis has filed a motion to intervene on behalf of ISC's protest, Shook said.

A GSA spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on litigation.

Jason Miller is an assistant managing editor of Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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