The August 28, 2009 online article by Matthew Weigelt quotes an un-named owner of an 80 employee small business who believes “They’re basically shopping the NAICS codes” in a way that disadvantages small business owners in favor of larger firms under the new NAICS code chosen by the Air Force.
The dispute revolves around the NAICS code picked for the NetOps and Infrastructure Solutions small business companion contract. Under the wireless telecom carriers code, small businesses are defined as those having fewer than 1,500 employees, while other category size code set the standard as less than $25 million in annual revenue.
"NetCents 2 contract dogged by code-shopping allegation"
The charge was repeated in a Washington Technology blog the next day also written by Matthew Weigelt. In the article, code shopping is described as the practice of choosing NAICS codes that allow favored or larger companies to bid as small businesses, rather than those that most fairly apply to the contract's scope of work.
The common theme in the many discussions with NETCENTS Primes and NETCENTSII hopefuls attending and exhibiting at last week’s CyberSpace 2010 conference was that the delay in NETCENTSII RFP release was due to PEO level questions on the NETOPS and Infrastructure Solutions Small Business strategy surrounding ON/OFF Ramping companies who grow out of the size standard.
The alternative theme was that the GAO/Delex Decision – “Rule of Two” planning was the delay. At the December Air Force IT Day hosted by AFCEA NOVA, the 754th ELSG Technical Director indicated the Delex Decision/Rule of Two was not part of NETCENTS strategy as DOD Acquisition Authority had not provided specific direction on the ruling.
The Air Force released a new NETCENTSII Award Schedule on October 25th.
- Products award date – Thanksgiving 2013.
- NETOPS Small Business award date – Thanksgiving 2013.
- Application Services Full & Open award date - Thanksgiving 2013.
- NETOPS Full&Open – slips six (6) months to October 2014
- ITPS remains “on Hold.”
[Original link deleted by the Air Force]
Washington Technology reports that the Air Force has asked the Government Accountability Office to dismiss a group of bid protests over its recent NetCents II awards because the service is rethinking its award decisions.
Washington Technology states that in the Air Force letter to GAO, the service said it will take a “corrective action” on the $6.9 billion contract. “Specifically, the agency intends to reopen discussions with all offerors in the competitive range and allow them to submit another round of final proposal revisions,” the Air Force wrote.
A GAO spokesman said the watchdog agency would “likely dismiss all of the protests shortly.” He did not give a timeframe for when the cases would be dismissed.
GAO and the Air Force also didn’t answer questions on what grounds the protesters had cited or why the Air Force made the decision to reopen the bids just weeks after making the awards.
The [NetCents II] NetCentric Products contract is primarily for hardware and is one of seven contracts under the NetCents II umbrella.
A review of the GAO Docket shows that two more firms filed protests: CounterTrade Products, Inc. and CDW Government, LCC.
So, how long will this redo delay the other NETCENTS II contract awards? Not likely to delay Application Services Small Business as it is in Award phase now. But NETOPS Full and Open, NETOPS Small Business, and Application Services Full And Open are expected to ‘slide right.’