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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Lack of small business winners draws protest for $800M Army contract

NOTE: This story has been updated to include new information on TekSynap's protest as well as another protest that has been filed.

Some of the grumblings I’ve been hearing about the Army’s $800 million TEIS IV awards for engineering services may be getting some more substance now that one disappointed small business bidder has filed a bid protest.

The Army’s Total Engineering and Integration Services IV contract went to the three large business incumbents -- General Dynamics IT, NCI Information Systems and Science Applications International Corp.

What was missing -- and a little surprising -- were any small business winners. In solicitation documents, the Army said there would be at least two.

As I have reported earlier, I quickly started hearing grumblings about the missing small business primes.

Now TekSynap has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The company declined to comment.

TekSnap is arguing that the Army's evaluation wasn’t done properly because the company should have scored high enough to win a spot on the contract. A second possible area of contention could be that the Army failed to comply with the solicitation by not picking a small business prime.

Eleven companies bid on TEIS IV with just the three incumbents winning spots. One complaint I heard is the Army didn’t ask for any clarifications on the bids, which I was told would have allowed some of the small business bidders to make corrections or clarify parts of their proposals.

One aspect of TEIS IV that makes it an attractive contract for small businesses is that there isn’t a separate SB track. That means that a small business winning on spot on the contract can outgrow its small business status and remain active on TEIS IV.

The Army has declined to comment on TEIS IV.

TekSynap filed is protest on Oct. 26 and a decision is due Feb. 3, 2021. 

A second protester, IAP Worldwide has also filed a protest, arguing that the evaluation was flawed and that it should have been picked as a winner.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 27, 2020 at 5:43 PM


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