T4NG2 protests grow to 14 with more possible

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A dozen companies have gone to the court with questions over how the Veterans Affairs Department evaluated proposals for the $61 billion technology modernization contract vehicle.

The number of T4NG2 protesters at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has grown to 14 and more might be coming.

Their primary issue is how the Veterans Affairs Department verified the self-scores that companies submitted with their proposals for the 10-year, $61 billion Transformation Twenty-one Total Technology Next Generation 2 contract.

Once it opens for business, T4NG2 will be VA's primary contract for acquiring technology transformation services from industry.

The court has consolidated all of the 13 other protests under the case filed by Technatomy Corp. in March. Companies protesting include Leidos, General Dynamics IT and Innovenue.

The Government Accountability Office dismissed the last three open protests from Omni Cares, Vision Tech Group and InteVets LLC. GAO generally dismisses protests when similar complaints are lodged at the Court of Federal Claims. We'll watch to see if they join the protests at the court.

In making awards, VA had bidders use a self-scoring worksheet that would cover things such as past performance and relevant experience. Bidders also submitted information on pricing and certifications.

VA said it would make awards to 30 companies based on the highest scores and best prices. The department reserved 15 awards for small businesses. VA made awards on Oct. 31.

Bidders were first ranked by their scores, then those of the top 30 were verified in a process that included an evaluation of pricing.

VA didn’t hold discussions but could ask for clarifications. Significant portions of Technatomy’s filing are redacted, but part of the dispute seems tied to determining when a clarification becomes a discussion.

A second complaint deals with debriefings. VA named the winners on Oct. 31. Technatomy asked for a debriefing the same day and again on Nov. 2.

But Technatomy says it did not receive its debriefing until March 11, four and a half months later, and then it was only a slide deck. VA received 177 bids in total for T4NG2.

The protesters want the court to declare VA’s T4NG2 awards “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law.” They also want a permanent injunction and VA to re-evaluate proposals in accordance with the solicitation.