Award and Protest: FDA's $100M Web and IT Support Services BPA

Posted (Last updated )

** Updated 7.09.17

Update: GAO has published the written decision related to this $100M Web and IT Support Services BPA protest denial. Full details can be found here

** Updated 6.26.17

G2X TAKE: After a long and hard-fought battle that had the FDA switching their initial award decision, late last week GAO announced that they have denied the latest protest put forth on this $100M single award contract to provide a range of IT Support Services to FDA. 

As noted below, this BPA was awarded to Aurotech last Fall, but Herndon-based Discover Technologies successfully protested and was informed in early 2017 that, as a result of their challenge and a subsequent corrective action taken, they were awarded the contract after all. With this much on the line, it was no surprise that Aurotech promptly protested the decision by GAO and FDA, but it appears GAO did not agree. With GAO rebuffing the latest challenge put forth by Aurotech, Discover can only hold their breath and wait to see if there are any further protest actions filed. 

** Update 4.13.17

"BACKGROUND - The RFQ was issued on May 26, 2016, and provided for the issuance of a Federal Supply Schedule BPA on a best‑value basis, considering the following evaluation factors: technical understanding and approach; management approach; relevant experience; and price. RFQ at 25‑33; Contracting Officer’s Statement (COS) at 2.[1] The technical understanding and approach evaluation factor included two subfactors: call order one understanding and approach; and technical understanding and approach to technical scenario. Id. at 26. The management approach factor included two subfactors: management approach to BPA and call order one; and key personnel. Id. The relevant experience and price evaluation factors did not include subfactors. Id. at 26‑33.

After evaluating timely quotations received from Discover Tech, Aurotech, and other vendors, HHS made award to Aurotech on September 19. COS at 2, 6.

On September 29, Discover Tech filed a timely protest with our Office challenging the award based on the following protest allegations: (1) that Aurotech engaged in an improper “bait and switch” with respect to most of its proposed key personnel; (2) that HHS unreasonably evaluated Aurotech’s quotation in this respect under the RFQ’s management approach factor, key personnel subfactor, and price factor; (3) that HHS unreasonably evaluated Discover Tech’s quotation under the management approach and relevant experience factors; and (4) that HHS’ best‑value determination was unreasonable insofar as it was based on these allegedly flawed evaluations. See Protest at 8‑14.

On October 28, HHS filed an agency report asserting defensible legal positions to each of Discover Tech’s (initial) protest grounds and providing evidence to support the agency’s positions. See Memorandum of Law at 10‑29; COS at 4‑11.

On November 10, Discover Tech filed comments on the agency report and raised the following supplemental protest allegations: (1) that HHS engaged in..." Read More Here

G2X TAKE: While the battle continues for this large single award contract to provide a range of IT Support Services to FDA, a GAO document released late last week provides insight as to the grounds used by the successful protester.

An excerpt from the document posted above is not directly related to the initial protest, but rather the request by the then protester and recent awardee, Discover Technologies, for reimbursement of protest costs, but the document does provide a rather detailed breakdown of both the timeline and the specific protest challenges. 

As noted below, this BPA was awarded to Aurotech last Fall, Discover successfully protested and was recently informed that, as a result of their protest, they won the contract. Aurotech has since then filed their own protest with GAO challenging the new award. That protest remains open.

** Update 3.21.17

G2X TAKE: The back and forth battle continues as yet another new challenge was filed by a small business last week for this 5-year Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to provide a range of SharePoint support activities for FDA.

Current protester, Aurotech was initially notified that they had received this single award contract award last Fall. That award was subsequently protested by FDA SharePoint Incumbent, Discover Technologies, and dismissed by GAO - presumably to allow the FDA to take "corrective action". Early this month FDA came back and announced the contract is now being awarded to Discover.

Details as to the latest protest by Aurotech have not been released at this point, but with the potential for this type of revenue on the line, neither of these two small businesses appear willing to walk away without a fight. More details will be made available as they are released. The current due date out of GAO for this to be resolved is June 26, 2017.

** Posted 3.8.17

G2X TAKE: Beating out 6 other bidders this small business was just awarded a 5 year $100M Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to provide a range of SharePoint Support Services to FDA.

Awarded to Herndon based Discover Technologies, this award comes after a protest was filed by this group last fall.

This fast rising small business has a long history of supporting FDA in support of their SharePoint needs, having been awarded a $40M BPA in late 2012 to stand up SharePoint for FDA.

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