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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Air Force suffers NetCents 2 defeat

The Air Force has suffered another NetCents 2 smack down, this time losing a bid protest fight with some of the largest IT companies in the market.

The Government Accountability Office this week ruled in favor of protests filed by Computer Sciences Corp., HP Enterprise Services, Harris IT, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

The four companies bid and lost attempts to get on the Air Force’s NetCents 2 Application Services contract worth $960 million.

The protests challenged the Air Force’s cost evaluation, past performance evaluation and the trade-off methodology they used.

While the details of the protests and the GAO decision aren’t public yet, the GAO ruled in favor of the companies on all counts and is recommending that the Air Force go back through the bids and make new source selection decisions.

That pretty much puts the contract back at square one, which is disappointing news for the nine companies that won spots on the contract back in July.

Frankly, this contract – as with other parts of the NetCents 2 procurement – has been a mess since the beginning.

For NetCents 2 Applications Services, the Air Force first made awards in July 2013. It was hit with protests and pulled back the awards. It made new awards in July 2014 and again was hit with protests.

This time, the Air Force decided to fight on and see the protests through the GAO process.

The end result is the same: A contract stuck in the mud and not moving forward, apparently because of mistakes the Air Force made.

Of course, the Air Force has an easy out – just add Booz Allen, CSC, Harris and HP to the contract, declare victory and move on.

Not sure that will happen though.

The decision from GAO will likely be out in the next week or so as the Air Force, GAO and the protesters each have a shot at recommending which material they want to redact from the public version of the decision.

If the decision is as bad for the Air Force as I think it is, they likely will be the ones pushing back the most on what GAO wants to release.

As a reminder, the companies that won spots on the contract in July are: Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Technology, SRA International, L-3 National Security Solutions, Raytheon, InfoReliance, CACI International, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and IBM.

We’ll write more as details emerge. There are sure to be many lessons in this one.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 04, 2014 at 7:27 AM


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