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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Red River wins second shot at $1.6B DHS cloud contract

Red River Computer Co. did not win all of its arguments in its protest against a lucrative $1.6 billion Homeland Security Department contract.

But it won enough to get another shot at the contract for enterprise computing and cloud computing services.

A second protester in MIS Sciences Corp. must wait to see which of two recommendations from the Government Accountability Office that DHS takes.

Red River and MIS filed their protests after DHS awarded a set of blanket purchase agreements in November 2016 to Knight Point Systems, Govplace and InfoReliance Corp.

The protesters had three arguments in common:

  • Work in the BPA was out of scope of Knight Point’s GSA schedule.
  • Technical evaluations did not follow the criteria in the solicitation.
  • Discussions with bidders were unequal.

GAO rejected all of those arguments. But it was a fourth argument Red River alone made that carried the day for the company.

Red River successfully argued that pricing discounts that Knight Point offered did not comply with the solicitation requirements.

GAO is recommending two possible courses of action: perform a new price evaluation, or amend the solicitation and get revised quotations.

Here is where MIS is stuck in limbo.

If DHS picks the first option and only does a new price evaluation, MIS will be left out in the cold because it didn’t raise that issue in its protest. But if DHS picks option two, then MIS would be able to participate.

It’s obvious which one MIS is rooting for. Given the contract's estimated $1.6 billion value, this would be an important win for any of the companies.

DHS wants to use the contract to deliver a range of commodity computing through managed services and cloud services. The contract would support a variety of DHS components and missions.

One goal is to standardize the department’s infrastructure.

GAO made its decision in late December so DHS should be close to picking its direction soon. Stay tuned.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 17, 2018 at 5:26 PM

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