Competitors turn teammates in this call center protest Rapeepong Puttakumwong

Chenega and Ivy Hill were on opposite sides of the table in round one of this Defense Health Agency competition, but for round two they are teammates and face a challenge from the incumbent.

What started as a typical protest of unsuccessful bidders challenging an award decision has taken a rare turn, now that one protester has joined forces with the winning company.

On top of that, the winning company has stepped back and is a subcontractor to the firm that once was a protester.

Chenega Services first won a $58.8 million to run a call center for the Defense Health Agency in July. Protests almost immediately followed from the incumbent Koniag Management Solutions and Ivy Hill Technologies.

After the protests were filed, DHA took a corrective action to address issues they raised.

DHA then made a new award last week to Ivy Hill. Koniag quickly responded with another protest.

But we won’t see a protest from Chenega because it is now a teammate of Ivy Hill.

In its protest, Koniag is challenging the past performance evaluation of Ivy Hill as well as its own past performance evaluation. Because of errors there, Koniag is challenging the best value award decision.

Koniag filed its protest on Feb. 1 and a Government Accountability Office decision is expected May 12.

The call center contract services the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. DHA uses the contract to help military personnel and their families with appointments and referral oversight.

It is not unheard of for companies to form a teaming agreement after protest, but it is something we do not see very often.