Scathing Washington Technology Questions: Air Force “Gutless or Incompetent?”
Washington Technology Daily blogger, Nick Wakeman, asks today, “Should the Air Force fire whoever was in charge of making the bid decisions or ran the evaluation team? Shouldn’t someone be held accountable for fouling up a $6.9 billion contract?”
“In my mind there are two possible scenarios that led to the Air Force’s decision, both of which make the service look bad.
Scenario 1: The Air Force is gutless and caved to the pressure of having to defend its award decision when 11 companies filed bid protests.
Scenario 2: The Air Force is incompetent because its award decision couldn’t survive the scrutiny of 11 bid protests.
So now the Air Force is reopening discussions with the bidders and allowing them to submit another round of final proposal revisions. But doesn’t that give the protestors an advantage over the winners because they know why they lost and why the winners won? “
“This is a $6.9 billion contract that has had some delays already and is part of a $22 billion program for goods and services. It’s the Air Force’s biggest and most important IT contract and is a follow-on to the very successful NetCents I. “
“You’d think that the Air Force would have made sure the reasoning behind its award decisions was bullet proof. Or at least bullet proof enough to go through the GAO review process. Shouldn’t you make awards on a contract this big and this important with the confidence that you can withstand a protest? “
“Protests have become so commonplace that they seem to be part of company growth strategies. A case like this makes me think that a smart company should protest any losing bid because you’ll automatically get an extra shot.”
“I don’t agree with some commenters who called the protesters cry babies. No, sir, they aren’t. They are doing what’s necessary to hang onto business.”
“What does this mean for the rest of the NetCents II program? More protests and more delays, I guess.”
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