OPM weighs USAJobs options

Office of Personnel Management officials are weighing their options before deciding how to proceed with the agency's USAJobs site after a contract award to redesign the site kicked off a series of legal maneuvers.

In January OPM announced that it had selected TMP Worldwide Government Services Inc. (now Monster Government Solutions) to redesign and operate the USAJobs Web site. One of the losing bidders, Symplicity Corp., subsequently filed a protest with the General Accounting Office that was upheld in a decision handed down April 29.

GAO sustained the protest because OPM did not adequately consider whether the services TMP identified in its quote were covered by its Federal Supply Schedule contract and because the agency did not reasonably evaluate quotes with regard to the vendors' proposed prices for systems integration. OPM then asked GAO to reconsider its decision. On May 19, GAO denied OPM's request for reconsideration. In its decision, GAO said that "the agency's failure to consider whether the two labor categories were on TMP's schedule contract was a symptom of a larger evaluation flaw, namely that the agency failed to perform any analysis of whether TMP's proposed services, labor categories and [other direct costs] were within the scope of TMP's contract."

The ball is now in OPM's court. It must tell GAO whether or not it plans to accept GAO's recommendations, which include reopening discussions with vendors whose quotations were in the competitive range. GAO must inform Congress if an agency decides to ignore its recommendations, which usually results in a congressional inquiry into the matter.

OPM officials are not saying much, but according to an OPM spokesman, the agency is taking a breather and considering its options. "A natural milestone has been reached," he said. "We've gotten to a point where a loss of a few days" will not have much of an impact on the project.

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