On July 19, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) IT Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) issued an addendum to the CIO-SP4 contract. TCX (Technology Company X) has operated in the federal market for over 30 years and intends to bid on the contract. Because the actual firm is still intending to bid and doesn’t want to jeopardize its connection with NITAAC, it agreed to tell its tale on the condition of anonymity.
TCX, a small contractor, says changes to its self-scoring system have hurt its chances of making it into the second round of NITAAC. Pat said TCX pulled two large businesses onto their team of small firms to help increase its total points. “It’s unclear where the cut is, so you’d be stupid not to compose your team of large and small contractors to maximize your points,” Pat said.
The Small Business Administration’s CIO-SP4 procurement is assisted by TCX, a small-business teaming organization. Pat, of TCX, stated they need to locate new colleagues in the little period of time they have until bids are due, which NITAAC has given them. The changes also have an impact on their relationships with major companies, as they must now ask them to leave their CIO SP4 team. Pat stated that the proposal expenses and staff hours spent on this procurement were more than $50,000.
Pluribus Digital has filed a second bid complaint regarding the agency’s decision to include only small company experience in its CIO-SP4 contract. Amendment seven, according to the business, alters the method NITAAC’s 14-day response is used to determine whether or not offerors can revise their recommended teams. Two additional companies have filed protests with the GAO over the same issue.
“It’s driving small businesses to ‘no-bid’ since they can’t reorganize into joint ventures with giant corporations.” NITAAC’s haphazard, last-minute adjustment is costing businesses millions of dollars at a time when everyone is strapped for cash. Former General Services Administration acting administrator and IRS executive believes the agency should be debating reforms.
The Professional Services Council is calling on NITAAC to go back to the drawing board on CIO-SP4 procurement. “The latest amendment has frustrated many companies of all sizes,” said Stephanie Kostro, PSC’s executive vice president for policy. Pat McCall, managing partner of Koprince Law, said he has rarely, possibly never, seen a procurement run so poorly. He said when an agency runs a procurement this significant, the most important facet is transparency and consistency.
Author: Mariatu Alale