New protests stall FedBizOpps

Losing vendors repeat the claim that GSA continues to be wrong in evaluating bids.

Losing vendors filed another protest — their fourth in three years — to contest the General Services Administration’s third contract award to Symplicity to revamp FedBizOpps.gov, a federal procurement Web site. Experts and companies involved in the procurement said they were left scratching their heads at GSA’s decision Sept. 28 to reaward a $17 million contract to Symplicity.

Devis, one of the three unsuccessful bidders, said GSA’s decision may contradict an August 2006 ruling of the Court of Federal Claims. Devis said it will intervene in a protest filed by Information Sciences Corp., which alleges that GSA, once again, did not properly evaluate bids for the FedBizOpps contract.


Devis’ lawyer Robert Ryland a partner at Kirkland and Ellis, said given that GSA should have reconsidered its competitive range decision.


 “In addition, GSA told Devis at its debriefing that contractor risk was not a determining factor in the award decision, despite the fact that a majority of the evaluation panel found the Symplicity proposal to be “unacceptable” and offering “little confidence” of successful performance,” he added.


“The government still does not have a rational basis for awarding this contract or the procedure they followed where they chose not to hold discussions on proposals that were 2 1/2 years old,” said Bill Shook, ISC’s attorney and partner at Kirkpatrick and Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis. “We have a violation of the procurement regulations that requires you to establish a competitive range only if you hold discussions, and they did not do that.”


A GSA spokesman defended the agency’s decision to award the contract to Symplicity once again but would not answer specific questions about why GSA reached that conclusion.


“Evaluation panels review contract proposals and make nonbinding recommendations to contracting officials or Source Selection Authorities, who decide which offers represent the best value to American taxpayers while providing the services needed to fulfill the contracts,” the spokesman said in an e-mail statement. “While the Court of Federal Claims found that GSA properly evaluated the vendors’ offers, per the judge’s direction, GSA appointed a new Source Selection Authority to review the technical and price evaluations and determined that Symplicity offered the best value for American taxpayers.”


Some in government say ISC, the incumbent, has every incentive to lengthen the protest. But Shook said ISC offered to end its protest in May 2006 if GSA would select an independent third-party evaluator to make a final decision about the controversial procurement case. GSA did not accept that offer, Shook said.


ISC, Aquilent and Symplicity said they, too, have grown frustrated by the whole process.


A Symplicity spokesman said the government and its contractors have been affected by the neverending protests by ISC to run an “outdated system at a much higher cost.”


The spokesman added that Symplicity’s bid is low is because it is reusing existing components from systems it runs at colleges and universities, federal agencies and Fortune 500 companies.


Symplicity’s bid of $17 million was well below the government’s estimate of $52 million and below the average bid of the three others vendors, which was about $47 million. ISC and Devis point to that as another reason why GSA erred in its evaluations.


Peter Fogelsanger, director at Aquilent, said there are many questions surrounding Symplicity’s proposal that still must be addressed.


He added that GSA could restart the process, but that would cost the government and industry a lot of money. Or, he added, the government could eliminate Symplicity from the competitive range and ask for a clarification from the other three.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.