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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

GAO finds multiple issues with $200M DHS IT operations contract

It is back to the drawing board for the Homeland Security Department and its troubled IT Operations Support Services contract.

The Government Accountability Office has ruled against DHS on not one, not two, but three different bid protests.

Ace Info Solutions, VariQ Corp., and 360 IT Integrated Solutions all filed protests after failing to win the $200 million contract known as "ITOSS." The contract was a bundling of several incumbent contracts.

DHS has tried twice to award the contract to Inerso. That first award in September led to several protests and DHS pulled it back to take a corrective action.

DHS again awarded the contract to Inerso in February and more protests followed.

But what makes this a little different and probably a little troubling for DHS is that GAO didn’t bundle the protests into a single decision.

Apparently, each company raised distinct and separate issues over how DHS handled the award process. They were different enough that GAO decided it couldn’t resolve them together. So in recent weeks, it has handed down three different decisions:

But in all three cases, GAO has told DHS to re-evaluate proposals and to make sure the re-evaluations are consistent with the solicitation.

In the Ace Info case, GAO specifically told DHS to re-evaluate Inerso’s proposal. And in the VariQ decision, GAO said that DHS might need to consider reopening discussions and get revised quotations from bidders.

Given that this was planned to be a single-award contract, all but one of these bidders will ultimately be disappointed. And of course, DHS can still award the contract to Inerso if the agency documents that it followed the solicitation and treated the bidders equally,

And if that happens we all might be back here again.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 19, 2018 at 1:27 PM

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