Treasury reopens bidding for TCE

TCE contract announcement

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Plagued by protests, the Treasury Department last week officially announced it is rebidding its controversial 10-year Treasury Communications Enterprise (TCE) contract, which is worth $1 billion.

In March, the Government Accountability Office upheld a protest against Treasury’s decision to award the data, voice and video technology network contract to AT&T, forcing Treasury to find another route for awarding the contract.

Although Treasury had told GAO it would drop its plans for TCE and use General Services Administration contract vehicles instead, the department later decided there was no existing contract that would meet Treasury’s departmentwide communications needs and reopened the bidding process.

“We hope to complete the process as soon as practically possible,” said Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin.

The bids are due Nov. 17, and only companies that previously bid will be able to rebid for the contract.

GAO conducted an investigation into the first procurement and found many flaws, including an agreement among Treasury, Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration that bidders felt unfairly changed the parameters of TCE late in the process.

That agreement promised to include Treasury in planning for GSA’s Networx telecommunications procurement, which is expected to be awarded next summer. Treasury agreed to switch to Networx at the end of TCE's three-year base period if it looked like a better deal.

Companies that had shaped their bids based on the assumption that TCE would run its full course, including option periods, objected to the eleventh-hour agreement.

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