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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

More protests for NetCents 2 NetOps

Two more companies have filed protests with the Government Accountability Office objecting to the NetCents 2 Network Operations and Infrastructure contract.

Abacus Technology Co. and D&S Consultants Inc. have joined Intelligent Decisions in asking the Air Force to reconsider the awards it has made under the $5.8 billion contract.

The Air Force made 12 awards on March 27, but had received bids from 29 companies. The expectation is that more protests likely will be filed.

The NetCents program, which includes multiple parts being awarded under separate competitions, has been plagued by bid protests. The protests have caused numerous delays.

The latest protests involve the small business awards under the network operations portion of the procurement. Large business awards in this portion of the contract have yet to be awarded.

The Air Force went through multiple rounds of protests and corrective actions to get the NetCents 2 Products contract up and running when it essentially gave the contract awards to all protesters.

It’s much too early to predict that the Air Force is headed down a similar path with the NetOps contract. Hopefully, the Air Force learned some lessons from the earlier troubles.

For now, it looks like the more typical strategy from the contractor perspective of protesting a loss of a large multiple-award contract instead of an accusation of poor decision making on the government part.

We’ll know a lot more in the next week or so when the window closes on filing protests.

It won’t look good for the Air Force if there are protests from all the 17 losing bidders. It also won’t look good if the Air Force takes a corrective action quickly.

If all the protests are in by next Friday, the Air Force will have about 30 days to respond, so we should have a good idea what’s going to happen by mid-May.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 09, 2014 at 9:22 AM

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