Protests lead to NetCents redo

UDATE: This story has been updated to include more protesters than originally reported. The total is now 11 protests. 

The Air Force has asked the Government Accountability Office to dismiss a group of bid protests over its recent NetCents II awards because the service is rethinking its award decisions.

In an Air Force letter to GAO, the service said it will take a “corrective action” on the $6.9 billion contract. “Specifically, the agency intends to reopen discussions with all offerors in the competitive range and allow them to submit another round of final proposal revisions,” the Air Force wrote.

A GAO spokesman said the watchdog agency would “likely dismiss all of the protests shortly.” He did not give a timeframe for when the cases would be dismissed.

GAO and the Air Force also didn’t answer questions on what grounds the protesters had cited or why the Air Force made the decision to reopen the bids just weeks after making the awards.

This NetCents II contract is primarily for hardware and is one of several contracts under the NetCents II umbrella.

Commercial products to be sold through the contract include networking equipment, servers and storage, peripherals, multimedia, software, and identity management/biometric hardware and associated software.

The NetCents program supports the Global Information Grid architecture, the Defense Information Infrastructure, the Air Force, and the Defense Communications Systems' info-structure for computer networks and telecommunications network mission areas.

The contract runs through July 2022.

The original winners were:

  • Ace Technology Partners LLC, Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Blue Tech Inc., San Diego
  • FedStore Corp., Rockville, Md.
  • General Dynamics IT
  • Global Technology Resources Inc., Denver
  • GTSI Corp., Herndon, Va.
  • Iron Bow Technologies LLC, Chantilly, Va.
  • M2 Technology Inc., San Antonio
  • Red River Computer Co., Claremont, N.H.

Eleven companies filed protests of the awards.

The protesting companies are:

  • Integration Technologies Group Inc.
  • MicroTechnologies LLC
  • Dell Federal Systems
  • Sterling Computers Corp.
  • Harris IT Services Corp.
  • immixTechnology Inc.
  • Insight Public Sector
  • FCN Inc.
  • World Wide Technology Inc.
  • Presidio Networked Solutions
  • CounterTrade Products

The NetCents II program has faced several delays and in early April, the Air Force added to the ceiling of NetCents I, so work under task orders from the contract would not expire before NetCents II was up in running.

The Air Force is still in the source selection process for the services and small business portions of NetCents II.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Fri, May 3, 2013 Retired Colonel

If the AF thought they could have prevailed, they would bave allowed GAO to rule. They obviously recognized they had blown it AGAIN and didn;t want the embarrassment of another adverse GAO decision. The once proud AF Acquisition community has been going downhill since Darleen Druyun's conviction! Sad!

Wed, May 2, 2012 Program Manager Virginia

I suppose when you're already perceived as being unable to execute a simple procurement, what's another misguided decision? It seems pretty obvious from the BAFO request that the protests were based on the fact that original pricing was done on equipment no longer available (since by now it's in the Smithsonian). But you know what? The AF could have stood its ground and won the protest. How could it not? The whole solicitation was pricing of 125 lines in a spreadsheet. Aside from the long evaluation time, I'm sure the determination of winners was based solely on price, just as the AF said it was to be. Therefore, nothing protestable was done, and they should have fought it and done the awards. They'd have looked a whole lot better doing that.

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