Costs jumped on VA's Wi-Fi contract, IG says

Contract terminated after costs rose from $91K to $161K

Contracting costs jumped 77 percent on a contract to install Wi-Fi infrastructure at 236 Veterans Affairs Department facilities, in part because the VA rushed the procurement, according to a new report from the department’s Office of Inspector General.

The VA awarded the five-year contract to Catapult Technology Ltd. for $91.4 million in October 2008, but current costs are projected at $161.5 million, according to the report by Mark Myers, director of the IG's Healthcare Resources Division Office of Contract Review.

The VA terminated the contract due to invoicing and pricing problems in October 2010 after installation was completed at 45 sites.


Related stories:

VA inspector general claims savings

VA mailed it in on FLITE contract, IG says


“We determined that the time frames established to plan, solicit and award a contract were unreasonable,” Myers wrote. “Our review determined that because of the rush to award, VA did not establish firm requirements and issued a statement of objectives that lacked the detail needed for vendors to submit reasonable firm-fixed-price proposals to VA. The lack of detail has caused contract costs to escalate under the contract as well as significant delay of installation of Wi-Fi nationwide.”

The IG report dated March 31 made seven recommendations to the VA’s deputy assistant secretary at the Office of Acquisitions and Logistics, along with the assistant secretary for information and technology.

In a response, the acquisitions and logistics deputy assistant secretary said the entity that awarded the contract was not part of the acquisitions and logistics office at the time of the award.

The VA deputy assistant secretary agreed with four findings and disagreed with two of the findings, in one case asserting that the finding was moot because the contract has been terminated.

Also, the VA deputy assistant secretary agreed with six of the seven recommendations.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.