Alliant2 Be or Not to Be

Alliant2 Small Business, the largest contract in over a decade for government-wide IT services, was recently rescinded by GSA.  (Nextgov, March 2019)

Over a year ago, GSA announced the Alliant2 award to 81 small businesses. Protests immediately ensued. One company, Citizant, Inc., protested to the GAO, who dismissed the file, so Citizant took their complaints to court and won, resulting in the rescission of the awards and GSA revisiting their scoring methodology. (ibid)

Evaluation of bidders differed from the last iteration of Alliant, with rumors of contracting officer bias and arbitrary bid pricing scores bubbling under. Many believe GSA’s self-scoring system allowed companies that should have been eliminated early on to continue through the process. Time will tell if each submission will be rescored or just those below the cutoff, although the judge requires GSA to rescore all. (Federal News Network, April 1)

If only a handful of submissions are rescored, the protest floodgates are likely to open again, possibly forcing a re-compete. Making awards to multiple companies have proven time and again that it is nearly impossible to compare apples to apples during the evaluation process. The process raises a lot of questions. Stay tuned.

We are always available to talk to you about this or other contracting problems. Give us a call at 301-913-5000.

INFORMation

At the beginning of fiscal year 2019, GSA implemented the enhanced post-award feedback pilot. GSA has termed this pilot the In-Depth Feedback through Open Reporting Methods or INFORM. (GSABLOG under Acquisition) INFORM allows  offerers to improve upon a proposal or even to see why they were not awarded a contract.

A customized evaluation statement, an opportunity for an in-person oral feedback meeting with the GSA evaluation team, and the option to submit follow up questions are offered under the INFORM pilot. GSA hopes this will help offerers see that the playing field is leveled and everyone is treated fairly during the procurement process. (ibid) This transparency should also cut down on post-award protests.

We are waiting to hear which 50 competitive acquisitions are being tested. So far we know that they will be of varying dollar thresholds, categories, and business size. Moreover, according to GSA, the test group is a representative sample of GSA acquisitions with two Federal Acquisition Service and two Public Building Service actions from each of the 11 GSA Regions and Central Office. The pilot will end with the fiscal year or upon the final procurement award, whichever occurs first. GSA will publish an analysis of the pilot findings. (GSABLOG under Acquisition)

Has your company been contacted by GSA asking for feedback on INFORM? Do you have questions you’d like answered before taking part? Give us a call at 301-913-5000.