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GAO Sustains 28 More Protests Against NIH CIO-SP4 IT Support Contract

The Government Accountability Office has moved to sustain 28 bid protests filed against the National Institutes of Health’s potential 10-year, $50 billion Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners recompete contract for information technology products and services.

Those sustained protests were filed by 27 vendors whose offers were eliminated from the CIO-SP4 contract competition after failing to advance from the initial phase to Phase 2 of the competition, GAO said Monday.

CIO-SP4 is a governmentwide acquisition contract managed by the NIH IT Acquisition and Assessment Center and has a five-year base term and five option years. 

The contract intends 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.

GAO found that NIH’s record does not show that it reasonably validated the proposed self-scores of all bidders and established the cutlines for the socioeconomic categories.

The congressional watchdog recommends that the agency reassess the proposals and specifically validate all self-scores and come up with new cutline analyses for each socioeconomic category.

NIH should “make a new determination of which proposals advance past phase 1 of the competition based on the results of these new evaluations and analyses,” GAO’s decision notice reads.

In late June, GAO decided to sustain 98 protests filed by 64 offerors against the CIO-SP4 contract.

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