WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

More trouble's for TSA infrastructure contract

CSRA has filed another protest involving the recompete of an incumbent contract it holds to manage the Transportation Security Administration’s infrastructure.

This is the second pre-award protest CSRA has filed involving TSA’s IMPACT contract. The company complained in its first protest that TSA had made so many amendments to the solicitation after proposals were filed that it should let bidders submit updated bids.

TSA apparently agreed and let bidders resubmit, but it also made several more amendments to the solicitation. A source indicated that TSA tried to take a narrow approach in the amendments and how the bidders could respond.

The contract is supposed to be a best-value competition but it might be headed toward more of a low-price shoot out, a source told me.

CSRA officials declined to comment.

At the same time CSRA filed its latest protest, proposals were due from the company and other bidders. All indications are that CSRA and at least three others bidders have filed new proposals -- DXC Technologies, CACI International and Science Applications International Corp.

While CSRA’s protest doesn’t stop evaluations, TSA cannot make an award while the protest is pending. So this will go one of three ways: TSA will take another corrective action and restart the process. Or GAO will rule against CSRA and an award will be made. Or third, GAO will rule against TSA and then TSA will need to start again and address GAO’s findings.

Not to rehash too much history, but these troubles really comes as no surprise. TSA has run into issues each time it has awarded this contract. This is the third iteration of the infrastructure contract.

If GAO rules against them, TSA should probably seriously think about getting some outside help in developing and communicating its requirements and how the contract should be evaluated.

It is very interesting to me that CSRA has now filed two protests complaining about the solicitation and arguing that it has serious flaws.

I can’t imagine their customer is very happy with them. Or at least their customer’s contract shop has got to be frustrated.

And if CSRA is successful with the latest protest – whether it is another corrective action or a GAO ruling in their favor – you have to wonder how much damage has been done to the relationship.

Either two things are going on. CSRA thinks it will lose under the current structure of the contract.

But it also might be worried that it will win something that it can’t successfully perform on. And if that is the case, they might be better off losing contract and moving. But in this market, no one likes to walk away from a contract worth $500 million to $1 billion.

A decision by GAO is expected by Dec. 15, unless TSA takes a corrective action before then.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 20, 2017 at 6:03 AM


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