WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Verizon fighting Air Force EIS task order award method

Verizon has filed a pre-award protest of task order the Air Force is planning under the huge Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle for telecommunications services.

The Air Force is working with the Defense Information Systems Agency to award the task order using a lowest price, technical acceptable evaluation process. Verizon is objecting to the use of LPTA in this case.

This 13-year task order will support the Air Force Recruiting Service with high-bandwidth telecommunications network services.

AFRS has nearly 1,000 locations spread out across the country. There apparently is not a single network platform for all of the locations and this task order would provide that.

Verizon argues that it is improper to use of LPTA in this case and that violates recent statutes barring the use of LPTA in many instances.

"Verizon protested because the 2017, 2018, and 2019 [National Defense Authorization Acts] make clear that federal agencies, including DOD, should avoid using LPTA procedures to the maximum extent practicable when buying information technology or telecommunications services," said Mike Maiorana, senior vice president of federal sales for Verizon.

The Air Force is trying to buy IT and telecom services with this task order via an LPTA process. "We recommend that the Air Force use a best value trade-off instead," he said. "Best value ensures that the technical solution, the implementation and management plan, and the price are all fairly evaluated."

According to a source, Verizon used its internal attorneys to file the protest and not an outside attorney as is generally the case. This source speculated that Verizon might be trying to get the Air Force to quickly change its approach without having to go through a full-blown protest fight and the expense of hiring an outside attorney.

Verizon filed the protest Dec. 6. A decision is due March 16, but we’ll have to watch to see if there is a corrective action in the next few weeks.

EIS is still in its early phases but Verizon has been the leading vendor to-date on that vehicle in terms of agency obligations at $33.7 million, according to Deltek data. Verizon's two largest task order wins so far have come from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 13, 2019 at 9:59 AM

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