Protest of TCS in SHSHQDC-13-Q-0011 for the BPA Cellular Wireless Managed Services forced DHS to stay performance of the award. TCS had a host of procedural and evaluation complaints against DHS and states in an FOIA document that the evaluation of their proposal was “riddled with errors”.
The written proposal was to be evaluated on the basis of a written submission and an oral submission. There were eight (8) price and non-price factors to be used in the evaluation.
Performance and Management and Accountability (written); Technical Approach and Understanding (written); Management Approach (written) Portal Solution Demonstration (oral); Corporate Experience (oral); Past Performance (written) Small Business Participation (written) and Price (written).
TCS submitted its written quote Jan 17, 2013 with oral presentation Feb 5, 2013 and were notified on April 17 2013 that award was being given to iSys, llc.
Grounds for TCS protest include the following: 1) The agency’s technical evaluation was unreasonable and not in accordance with solicitation criteria. 2)The agency’s past performance evaluation was flawed and not in accordance with prevailing law. 3) The agency’s overall best value decision was flawed 4) The agency’s evaluations failed to follow the evaluation scheme set forth in the solicitation 5) The agency failed to engage in meaningful discussions.
So, here we are. This will all be re-evaluated if the government gets back to work. Perhaps, since the government is no longer at work we should not have Federal taxes cut from our paychecks?
As to the protest, lots of Stürm u. Drang from TCS and their attorneys at McKenna. As the documents I viewed were redacted, I could not fully determine if it was all sour grapes. It's not on our shoulders here.
I did a little research on the GAO protest process. In case you hadn't seen it:
- GAO received approx 2,475 protests for FY12
- Possible outcomes include:
1) withdraw by the protester,
2) dismissed by GAO because the protest had a technical or procedural flaw (such as lack of timeliness or jurisdiction) or because the agency takes corrective action that addresses the protest,
3) denial by GAO with no merit to the protest
4) sustained by GAO in agreement with the protest arguments.
For past 5 yrs:
- Sustain rate is approx 18-20%
- Effective rate constant at 42%. This is defined by GAO as protester receiving some form of relief from agency through either corrective action or the GAO sustaining the protest.
Not surprising to see the number of protests continue to climb with the overall cost of bidding rising and a reasonable possibility of success.
these are common grounds for a protest. sometimes they are valid. worst case, the gao says dhs needs to rebid it and or reevaluate based on the revised info. my hunch is that since dhs already looked at this again in protest 1.0 that ts are crossed and is dotted. tbd. what i know for fact is dhs has no use for tsys.
Your comment on the DHS having no use for TSYS brings to bear a very interesting question. If that is the case, why on god's green Earth does TSYS continue to push. Surely they understand that if they were to prevail, their working relationship with the DHS would be an unhealthy one going forward. Given my belief that Widepoint has conducted itself appropriately, I personally find this protest quite bizarre indeed. No question now; this appears to be going the full nine innings and maybe overtime.
Can't say whether it's valid or not but think you are correct . What is good to know is that there was nothing in the documents on the first protest that pointed to anything that WYY/iSys.llc did. They bid the package as presented and were chosen. TCS complaint largely is systemic and against DHS. I hope it is a re-evaluation. If not it just lengthens the time line and there was nothing there that should manifestly disqualify or imperil our bid. The redacted info in the response to FOIA on first protest does not give me any feel on potential substance of details that would make me think outcome would or should be different unless they throw out the procedure for evaluation as incorrect.
Sooner is better, but we continue to be snake bit by circumstances we have no control over.