Protests restart over CIO-SP4 Pattanaphong Khuankaew

ANALYSIS | Just like last year, companies are complaining about the self-scoring methodology being used to eliminate them from the competition.

The protests have started... again... as the National Institutes of Health tries again to award its CIO-SP4 IT contract vehicle as more complaints come in about the agency’s self-scoring methodology.

For this newest round, two companies have filed protests at the Government Accountability Office and their complaints will sound familiar.

NIH's IT Acquisition and Assessment Center is using a self-scoring methodology that requires companies to meet a certain threshold to get through phase one of the evaluations.

In the most recent attempt to finalize awards, NITAAC eliminated DV United 2 and iDoxSolutions because their scores were not high enough.

Those companies disagree and have gone to GAO to register their complaints. More are likely to follow after NITAAC wraps up its debriefings with unsuccessful bidders.

These allegations appear identical to the protests that have bogged down CIO-SP4 over the past two years.

One source indicated there could even be a lawsuit filed at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. If that happens, GAO will likely dismiss the current protests because the court has greater authority to enforce bid protest rulings.

The two new protests are the 355th and 356th filings at GAO involving CIO-SP4, dating back nearly two years.

The volume of CIO-SP4 protests filed in the government's 2023 fiscal year helped drive a 22% spike in cases at GAO. Could we see a repeat in fiscal 2024?

Both DV United and iDoxSolutions filed protests on Friday and decisions from GAO are due April 29.

If and when it gets going, CIO-SP4 will offer a broad range of IT services across the government.