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GAO Sustains 98 Protests Against $50B NIH CIO-SP4 IT Support Contract

The Government Accountability Office has decided to sustain 98 bid protests filed against the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center’s potential 10-year, $50 billion Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners follow-on contract for IT products and services.

CIO-SP4 is a governmentwide acquisition contract with a five-year base term and five option years and seeks to meet the needs of agencies for IT platforms and services across 10 task areas, including biomedical research, health care and health sciences; digital government and cloud services; cybersecurity; and software development.

Those sustained protests were filed by 64 vendors whose offers were eliminated from the CIO-SP4 contract competition after failing to get through the initial phase of evaluation, GAO said Thursday.

“In sustaining the protests, GAO concluded that NIH’s decision not to advance the protesters’ proposals past phase 1 of the competition was flawed,” Kenneth Patton, managing associate general counsel for procurement law at GAO, said in a statement published Thursday.

The congressional watchdog found that NITAAC’s record does not show that it reasonably assessed the vendors’ phase 1 proposals and determined which offers would move to the competiton’s next stages.

GAO recommended that the agency reevaluate proposals consistent with the decision, and make new determinations of which proposals advance past phase 1 of the competition based on the results of these new evaluations,” Patton noted.

In May, NITAAC decided to extend for six months the CIO-SP3 GWACs to address the protests against the recompete contract.

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