Protests circle around $1B Interior cloud award Just_Super

A pair of competitors are taking issue with the Interior Department's choice of Peraton for the Cloud Hosting Solutions III contract, which is the latest example of how intense these cloud competitions are.

As more agencies put vehicles in place to create a unified cloud environment, bid protests involving these contracts are becoming quite common.

One reason is the price tags, which are often measured in the billions. A second reason is the long-term nature of these deals. More often than not, a single company becomes the cloud gatekeeper for at least a decade.

No one wants to be locked out for that long, so it’s almost a necessity to file a protest.

The newest case in point is the Interior Department's $1 billion Cloud Hosting Solutions III contract that has an 11-year term.

Peraton won the vehicle on June 13 and by July 3, Science Applications International Corp. and General Dynamics IT filed protests.

To further make the point that the competition for these cloud contracts is intense, SAIC won a $1.3 billion cloud contract with Treasury in March and worked through a three-month protest process. SAIC eventually prevailed against Leidos and Booz Allen Hamilton, but now is on the other side of that same type of fight.

With Peraton’s Interior Department cloud contract, SAIC and GDIT allege several flaws including a misevaluation of proposals and flawed discussions. SAIC and GDIT believe the ultimate result was an unreasonable best-value decision in Peraton’s favor.

The Government Accountability Office's bid protest docket indicates an Oct. 6 due date for the SAIC ruling and Oct. 11 for GDIT.

Interior wants to use the CHS III contract to build a standard cloud infrastructure that the department and its components and mission partners can tap into. Solicitation documents on GovTribe outline how Interior emphasized a need for a mission-focused cloud environment.

Two primary drivers for the contract are cloud migration that complies with the Federal Cloud Smart Strategy and data center consolidation to reduce Interior’s IT footprint.

The contractor’s first step is gaining an understanding of Interior’s current IT environment before the cloud migration work begins.

Given those descriptions, it is easy to envision how intimate Peraton’s relationship with Interior will be. It's also easy to see why rivals such as SAIC and GDIT are fighting so hard for the prize as well.