The department delays the release of a final solicitation for the potential $60 billion technology contract as it continues to process questions and comments from industry.
The Veterans Affairs Department has caught plenty of flack across the industry for having such tight response windows around a pair of draft solicitations for a $60 billion IT services and solutions recompete.
Companies had barely a week to respond to the most recent draft released Feb. 14 regarding the T4NG2 vehicle, or Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation 2.
But respond is exactly what industry did. To the point that the VA has delayed the release of a final solicitation until March 14, instead of the previously-communicated Feb. 28 date.
Final proposals will be due April 17 instead of March 30. The VA expects awards to come before the end of the year.
“(The) VA is carefully considering questions and suggestions received in response to the [second] draft RFP and as a result is postponing the anticipated solicitation release date,” the department wrote on Sam.gov.
The agency will likely release the Q&A in conjunction with the final solicitation. At that point, we will get more of an idea of how much the industry comments influenced the VA.
Companies have criticized the VA because it released the first draft Jan. 13 with comments due Jan. 20. The VA did they same thing with the second draft – a Feb. 14 release with comments due Feb. 21.
Given the potential $60 billion and its status as the VA's go-to technology contract, many across industry were dismayed that they only had a week to digest the drafts and respond. The drafts included multiple attachments and more than 150 pages each.
The Professional Services Council has lodged complaints to the VA on behalf of their member companies. The government services industry's largest trade group said those short timeframes hurt the competitive process and limited the VA’s access to innovative solutions.
Our own attempts to reach the VA for comment have been ignored, and there has been no public response from the department to PSC’s letter.
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