CIO-SP4's award date is officially set Chino

The agency running this governmentwide $50 billion IT contract sounds ready to announce who won, but will even more protests follow?

Heads up everybody: this could be fun to watch.

The National Institutes of Health's IT acquisition organization put out this new update on Friday that claims it will make awards for the $50 billion CIO-SP4 contract on or around the following Friday, March 24.

What comes after that announcement has me wondering, even though I don't doubt the awards will happen.

CIO-SP4's small business portion has spawned nearly 200 bid protests in the pre-award phase, primarily in two waves. The protests have challenged how NIH's IT Acquisition and Assessment Center set the threshold for companies to clear phase one of the three-phase competition.

Companies have complained that NITAAC set an arbitrary level for the self-scoring part of the competition. NITAAC has answered those protests with corrective actions, after which the organization said it would address the issues.

After the most recent set of corrective actions, NITAAC said it found inconsistencies in how it implemented earlier corrective actions.

Several companies passed through phase one from the beginning, so NITAAC could continue to evaluate those proposals through phases two and three. Those companies are likely in-line for an award.

But I wonder about the companies that have protested. Has NITAAC had the time to evaluate those companies completely?

I can’t help but think that NITAAC will see yet another flood of protests from companies that don’t get awards.

NITAAC is stuck in a bind because CIO-SP3 contracts will expire on April 29. Announcing awards for CIO-SP4 will likely not end the challenges NITAAC is facing.