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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

DHS pulls back $200M ITOSS award

It looks like the Homeland Security Department is recognizing some mistakes it made with its award of the $200 million IT Operations Support Services contract.

In late September, Inerso Corp. won the contract known as "ITOSS" that is a bundling of several expiring contracts. Then four unsuccessful bidders filed protests with the Government Accountability Office.

Sources have told me that DHS has informed GAO it plans to take a corrective action. In other words, the agency is pulling back the award to re-evaluate their decision.

It doesn’t mean that Inerso won’t ultimately be the winner but it does mean that the protesters raised enough points in their filings that DHS knew they needed to fix some things. The protesters were Enterprise Resource Planning Systems International, 360 IT Integrated Solutions, Ace Info Solutions and Innovative Solutions Inc.

The protesters will have a chance to respond to the corrective action but within the next few days GAO will dismiss the protests. In essence, there will be no contract award and without an award you can’t have a protest.

The companies do have the option of protesting the corrective action if they feel it doesn’t go far enough to address their complaints. But that is an uphill battle. Just ask Booz Allen Hamilton, which recently lost a protest of a corrective action.

I wonder if ITOSS is headed in the direction of FLASH and DHS will have to cancel it and start over.

ITOSS was already the subject of a pre-award protest by CSRA, which argued that DHS' making this work a small business set aside was a mistake. CSRA is the incumbent on one of the contracts that is being bundled into ITOSS. CSRA ended up withdrawing its protest.

As I pointed out in a blog post earlier this week, DHS seems to be struggling of late with many procurements.

The department’s Procurement Innovation Lab has shown that it wants to take taking an innovative approach, which should be applauded. But innovation comes with a risk and that means you’d better be ready for it.

It appears too often that DHS isn’t.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 25, 2017 at 2:07 PM

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