There has been yet another amendment to the highly anticipated $50 billion CIO-SP4 contract. On July 9, The National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) released its sixth amendment to the solicitation. The amendment was released on the tailings of backlash and protests received over the past few weeks.
NITAAC is now allowing bidders to list three examples of past performance, or 30 examples total across the 10 task areas, on the self-scoring worksheet. There was also an update to the constraints on past performance examples provided from the large business mentor in a Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP)– they can now give two examples for each task area, or 20 total. This comes as good news for small businesses participating in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) MPP.
The amendment further clarifies that all examples of past performance must be from the last three years from the date the CIO-SP4 solicitation date, May 25, 2018 through May 25, 2021.
It is evident that NITAAC spared little time in addressing some of the concerns raised by many, and certainly from small businesses and those seeking to enter a Joint Venture through the MPP. Since July 2, there has been a total of 7 protests. The most recent comes from AgilisTek, who expressed that the solicitation is too limiting in how it reviews past performances of those seeking a teaming arrangement. They also voiced that the July 23 response date is simply too soon, as it is not enough time to submit a competitive bid – this seems to be a theme following this solicitation.
While protests are still active, NITAAC cannot name any final awardees. On the flip side, they are also under no obligation to pause or extend the CIO-SP4 procurement – they can continue receiving and evaluating proposals and discussing with bidders.