WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

MetTel joins Verizon in objecting to DISA's LPTA plans

The Defense Information Systems Agency is catching a new round of complaints for apparently trying to compete task orders using a low-price, technically acceptable criteria.

It is now facing another protest of a task order solicitation DISA is competing through the General Services Administration's Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

MetTel has filed protests involving two task orders DISA wants to award. One is for internet access and voice services infrastructure services to the Navy. The second is to support the Marine Corps, also with internet and voice services.

The company is arguing that LPTA competition are barred for these kinds of task orders.

Verizon made the same argument earlier this year, when it filed protests for a pair of DISA task orders the agency was trying to award on behalf of the Air Force.

DISA pulled back the solicitations for those task orders after the Verizon protests to make changes. Whatever changes DISA made still did not satisfy Verizon, which refiled its protest in April because DISA kept the competition as LPTA.

Now MetTel is making the same argument.

Given the history of Verizon's protest, I would expect these to go to a full decision from the Government Accountability Office. DISA has already had two corrective actions and each time they made changes, but stuck with LPTA and seem pretty set on that approach.

That leads me to think DISA will also stick to their guns with MetTel.

The argument that Verizon is making and I’m sure MetTel will agree is that the 2017, 2018 and 2019 National Defense Authorization Acts all pushed the point that LPTA should be avoided to the maximum extent possible when buying IT and telecommunications services.

GAO’s decisions on both sets of protests will likely hinge on DISA’s reasoning for why LPTA is appropriate versus a best-value procurement.

For anyone who thought LPTA was behind us, this will be a telling one to watch.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 05, 2020 at 9:42 AM

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