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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Sometimes no competition makes good sense

I’ve never been a fan of when agencies dictate the brand name to bid; requiring a brand name squelches competition. That’s the prevailing argument.

But a recent Government Accountability Office denial of a protest by Desktop Alert over the brand name requirement for an AtHoc emergency notification system was a no brainer, even to me.

The contract in the dispute was only for one-month and just meant to act as a bridge for the Air Force until a competitively-competed contract could be put in place. The new contract apparently has been hit by several delays.

Because AtHoc is the software currently in use, it only makes sense that the Air Force keeps using the software. “It would be extremely difficult and costly” to move to another software platform until the new contract is in place, the Air Force argued.

Makes sense to me.

GAO agreed:

“In light of the anticipated competitive award and the associated delays in the award of that contract, the short duration of the requirement contemplated by the RFQ, and the potential disruption and costs associated with shifting to an entirely new software platform, we have no basis to conclude that the agency acted unreasonably in limiting the solicitation to the AtHoc brand-name software system.”

Seems like a frivolous protest to me.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 05, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Reader Comments

Thu, Jan 7, 2016 Howard Ryan

Nick, what you did not know is this was a parliamentary move by DTA to help AF clean up some poor procurement processes and look no further than this recent FEDERAL win to understand why we filed. Seems when the opposite applied, our competition was fine with filing a bogus protest that delayed the Air National Guard's MNS efforts for years.


Using the decsions above for proof, It turns out that we were overlooked for numerous AF contracts for many years because of "invalid information" provided by our competition to the Government (resulting in Sole Source Wins) so your article while well intended is not aware of the unfortunate machinations that have went on for years. HTH

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