At a teleconference today with reporters to discuss Friday’s Alliant contract award, General Services Administration officials sounded quite confident there would be no protests of the contract awards from disgruntled losers.
“We feel confident that we’re on solid ground,” said Mary Powers-King, GSA’s director of governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs).
It turns out, GSA has a good reason to be confident there won’t be a protest: no one lost.
But GSA officials didn’t disclose that fact at today’s teleconference. Nor did it disclose that the pool of eligible vendors shrank from 62 to 59 due to mergers and acquisitions.
Three companies that were among the 62 eligible bidders for the contract did not get awards: SI International, QSS and TRAWICK. But all three merged in the last two years with other bidders that did win Alliant awards Friday: SI International merged with winner Serco; QSS merged with winner Perot Systems; and TRAWICK merged with winner McNeil Technologies.
In addition, MTC Technologies, which merged with BAE Systems, earning the company two Alliant awards.
Two years ago, GSA awarded the contract to 29 of the 62 vendors, but eight losing bidders protested the decision. A federal court forced ruling GSA to reevaluate all 62 bids last year, delaying the award until Friday.
In an email following the press conference, Powers-King emphasized that even though they made awards to all the vendors, they didn’t do this with the intent of avoiding further bid protests.
There were originally 66 offerors who provided proposals for Alliant. Four offerors did not pass the acceptability review which left 62 offerors that were still in the mix when the protests and subsequent court case ensued. During the course of the reevaluation, mergers and acquisitions occurred that resulted in a total of 59 companies.
“The important thing to note is that there was never any intent or objective for us to award to all offerors. We conducted a diligent reevaluation from Apr[il]08 to Mar[ch]09 of past performance, basic contract plan, cost/price analysis and tradeoff analysis. Subsequent to that we had discussions with the offerors deemed to be in the competitive range who were able to update their proposals based on individual weaknesses identified by the contracting officer. That made a substantial difference in the quality and completeness of their proposals thereby resulting in 59 companies who demonstrated a high capability to meet the government’s requirements at a fair and reasonable price.
“An incredible amount of work went into the Alliant reevaluation and there was no pre-determined or pre-conceived strategy on who would get awards. Up until the very, very end we did not know how this would turn out.”