Cloud computing opens new questions for procurements

The General Services Administration is figuring out what its options are now that the Government Accountability Office has sustained a protest of GSA's solicitation for cloud computing services.

“We are currently reviewing the GAO’s recommendation that GSA clarify the requirements language in the two sustained protest grounds,” Steve Kempf, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said in a statement.

GAO sustained a protest by two companies that challenged where a data center storing government information should be located. As reported in FCW sister publication Washington Technology, the companies argued that GSA’s solicitation, which requires vendors to locate their data services in “designated countries,” based on the Trade Agreements Act, unduly restricts competition. They also said the requirement has no basis in law or regulation.

GAO agreed.

“We conclude that GSA has failed to proffer an adequate explanation for limiting non-U.S. based data centers to those countries listed as designated countries,” GAO wrote.

GAO said GSA should amend the solicitation to reflect its actual needs concerning non-U.S. data center locations. GAO also sustained another protest regarding a clarification of a term in the solicitation.

Kempf said GSA officials will “make a decision on corrective action following a thorough review of the GAO’s decision.”

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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