IBM loses attempt to change VA supply chain modernization contract evaluation Busakorn Pongparnit

In this unsuccessful protest, Big Blue argued that the Veterans Affairs Department's approach restricted competition.

IBM has been rebuffed in its attempt to get the Department of Veterans Affairs to change how it planned to evaluate proposals for a supply chain modernization contract.

Big Blue filed a protest against the VA’s evaluation methodology for assessing the financial liquidity and solvency of bidders. IBM argued that VA was restricting competition.

While further details of IBM’s allegations are unavailable, the Government Accountability Office has denied the protest and found that VA’s methodology is reasonable.

VA can now complete its evaluations and make an award.

This supply chain modernization effort is a large undertaking, with some estimates placing it at $5 billion. VA wants to create an enterprise-wide supply chain management system. The department has 63 disparate systems across 171 sites working today to manage various supplies, according to solicitation documents.

VA wants to build a management structure for moving its supply chain systems into an integrated system of systems. The department expects to sunset numerous systems as it transforms the way it manages its supply chain.

The contract in question will have a potential 10-year performance period, including five base years and up to five individual option years.

The prime contractor will act as VA’s integrator and “partner” with expertise in the latest supply chain management technologies and bring governance and implementation expertise. VA wants support for policy and business process re-engineering, data management strategies, training, risk mitigation, and performance improvement measures, according to the solicitation.

Proposals were due on July 28, the same day IBM filed its protest. VA was not prohibited from evaluating proposals while the protest was processed, so an award could happen in the coming weeks.