Protesters take issue with Air Force's plan to redo $865M award Baryschchyk

The Air Force wants to re-evaluate pricing, but the protesters say it doesn't go far enough to fix the problems they see with the communications support contract.

The Air Force has asked the Government Accountability Office to dismiss a set of protests involving a $865 million contract award that went to GovernmentCIO.

But the protesters are pushing back, arguing that the so-called corrective action by the Air Force is too limited. General Dynamics IT, Agile Defense and Trace Systems also want GovCIO eliminated from the competition.

The fight involves an Air Force contract known as Communications Technical Support Services V, which GovCIO won in February as a takeaway from incumbent GDIT.

In the challenges filed in early March, the three protesters alleged that GovCIO gained an unfair advantage because it hired a former Air Force official. The protesters also complained about how pricing was evaluated and the cost realism determination.

In response, the Air Force said it would perform a a new price realism analysis that would include evaluations of compensation in the professional labor categories.

But the protesters are saying that corrective action doesn’t go far enough to lead GAO to dismiss their protests. They argue that the Air Force’s new evaluation is inconsistent with the solicitation and may violate procurement laws.

GAO is still on track to render a decision by June 20 because the original protests have not been dismissed.

The latest dispute continues a troubled history for CTSS V that goes back to at least 2021, when the Defense Information Systems Agency tried to field the contract for the Air Force. After some protests, DISA turned the contract back to the Air Force to manage.

The Air Force released a new solicitation in March 2023, which kicked off the latest competition.

The contract supports the communications needs of the Air Force Central Command, which oversees operations in the Southwest Asia region.

CTSS manages the communications infrastructure used by 90,000 Air Force and civilian personnel. The contract covers integration, installation, operations and maintenance and sustainment work.