CBP offers 'explanation plus' to losing bidders
- By Mark Rockwell
- May 13, 2014
Customs and Border Protection's IT technology acquisition operation is developing ways to help explain to unsuccessful contract bidders why they lost out to competitors, according to the agency's top IT acquisition official.
In remarks at a presentation on acquisition and programming at FOSE in Washington, D.C., Guy Torres, CBP director of IT contracting, said he and his legal team had developed an "explanation plus" document to provide more information to vendors bidding under Federal Acquisition Regulation. The FAR can restrict providing explicit information on some bids to vendors. Torres said he wanted to provide some information to help vendors understand why they may have lost, instead of providing only a short statement that they didn't get a contract.
The "explanation plus" document, Torres told FCW, was done "on the fly" the week of May 5 to help frustrated bidders trying to get more information on why they weren't selected for a particular IT contract under the FAR. The document, he said, provided a modicum of information to the vendors that “helped lessen the blow, but we still got a protest."
In his FOSE presentation, Torres noted that he helped establish an acquisition acceleration center where CBP's programming and procurement staffs can work together to make contracting more efficient.
When he came on board in 2011, Torres said, contracting at CBP was an inefficient, sometimes chaotic and inordinately lengthy process. By bringing the programming and procurement staff together at the acquisition center, the agency has wrung $80 million in savings from more closely tailoring contract types, renegotiating contracts and breaking larger contracts into more efficient smaller contracts, he said.
Mark Rockwell is a staff writer covering acquisition, procurement and homeland security. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.