CIO-SP4 faces more court challenges

In the meantime, the National Institutes of Health's IT acquisition arm has extended the current contract into the fall.

The $50 billion CIO-SP4 contract is under protest again, but this time at least four companies have gone to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims with their objections.

Published reports state that two other companies have also filed lawsuits in court over the IT contract, though we have not identified them yet.

The four protestors we have identified are Futron, Inalab Consulting, Objective Function Systems and VetConnects. Their filings are currently sealed.

In response to the protests, NIH's IT Acquisition and Assessment Center is working to extend CIO-SP3 through Oct. 26 with an option for six more months.

CIO-SP3 is currently set to expire at the end of April. Federal News Network first reported the extension, citing a speech by NITAAC's director Brian Goodger at the AFCEA West defense industry conference in San Diego.

Goodger said that resolving the new protests could take another year.

The four confirmed protesters are all represented by the same law firm, Maynard Nexsen.

Right now, the cases are separate but assigned to the same judge. It appears very likely that they will be joined into a single case.

Because the filings are sealed, it is unclear what they are protesting. But they likely were eliminated from the competition as NITAAC re-evaluated proposals following the hundreds of protests filed in the last year.

The protests last year primarily stemmed from problems with NITAAC’s self-scoring methodology, with many complaints that the threshold to pass the first phase was set arbitrarily.

In a search of the Government Accountability Office protest docket, none of the four appear to have filed protests at GAO. There is a possibility that they made the cut for phase one last year, but fell short when NITAAC reevaluated.

NITAAC has not responded to a request for comment. Nor have the attorneys for the protesters.