Contracts

Bid protest delays DOD efforts to address traumatic brain injuries

An Army contract to support the military’s efforts to address traumatic brain injuries by soldiers remains bogged down by bid protests.

Octo Consulting won the $24.9 million in the fall and was hit with a protest from the Federal Acquisition Services Alliant joint venture. After the Army went through a corrective action process, it awarded the contract for a second time to Octo.

And for a second time Federal Acquisition Services Alliant has filed a protest.

Both companies hold positions on the Alliant Small Business contract and this contract was competed as a task order under that vehicle.

Federal Acquisition Services Alliant -- also known as FASA -- claims they would have been picked for the work if the evaluation had been done properly. They also claim the original corrective action was not robust enough.

The contract supports the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, which is part of the Military Health System. The MHS agency will use the contract to buy IT management, development and support services.

Ironically, this contract would not have reached the threshold value for a protest if the Army had used a DOD vehicle. The contract would have been too small.

But because Alliant is a GSA vehicle, it follows the rules for protests against civilian agency contracts. The threshold for a protest against a civilian contract is $10 million. DOD contracts have a $25 million threshold.

Specifically, the contract will support research and development efforts around brain injuries and psychological health. Some of the needs include finding ways to prioritize research and create partnerships to improve the quality of care.

FASA filed its protest Jan. 16. A decision from GAO is expected April 26.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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