WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

VA telecom work hit with protests

Two disappointed bidders are challenging an award to MetTel of a $127 million task order to provide voice services to the Veterans Affairs department.

CenturyLink and Granite Telecommunications are making very similar arguments. They both are claiming that the evaluations of their proposals were flawed and if the evaluations had been done properly they would have won.

The task order was awarded under the General Services Administration’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract. EIS is a $50 billion telecommunications contract that was awarded to 10 companies in 2017. It replaced Networx.

The transition from Networx to EIS has been slow and it has only been in the last six months that we’ve seen EIS task orders starting flow. Momentum is building with over 20 task orders awarded.

But as the task orders have come out, so have the protests. Counting this protest, we’ve been able to document three EIS task orders that have been protested. CenturyLink had its $1.6 billion Interior Department task order protested by Verizon. Verizon also has filed a couple pre-award protests involving an Air Force task order that hasn’t been awarded yet.

Many of these EIS task orders are long, with some terms stretching out for seven years. And with the challenge of transitioning telecommunications work, they’ll likely be extended. Tasks under Networx have been extended until 2023. So it is no surprise that the EIS task orders are hotly contested.

The VA task that went to MetTel cover existing voice services as well as new services.

The protests were filed March 9. A decision from GAO is expected by June 17.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 12, 2020 at 11:21 AM

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