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It just might be Protests against Soliciation # 75N98121R00001 owned by the Department of Health and Human Services : National Institutes of Health.  The solicitation is for "Chief Information Officer - Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4)."  See it at SAM.GOV.

Let's check with GAO and count the open protests against the solicitation.

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The success of some of these multiple award IDIQ contracts like Alliant, CIO-SP3, SEWP, etc. is leading to problems like this.  So many small businesses, especially start-ups and those struggling for existence, see these contracts as their salvation.  They feel losing out on award means their end.  The self scoring mechanism NIH used in the solicitation should be a clear indicator what’s need to the firms proposing to make it.  But those companies then protest when they don’t make the cut.

NIH is trying to do too many things for too many people including both government users and companies.  They either need to better define and narrow their objectives for clear and specific purposes with a viable number of awardees or do like the Navy did with Seaport and award 600 contracts to everyone.

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On 11/20/2022 at 11:45 AM, Vern Edwards said:

The real question is:

What do these box-store GWAC MATOCs do for us in light of the FAR-Part-15-type methods agencies use to conduct task order competitions under FAR 16.505(b)?

Do they make the conduct of particular competitive task order acquisitions easier, more expeditious, and less costly?

Do we have facts?

Quote

I did a little calculating.  $15,505,407,941 / 1,139 = $13,613,176 obligations per task order (rounded).  I know using obligations is not correct but that is close enough.  You asked 4 questions.  My answers are 1) probably not, 2) probably not, 3) probably not, and 4) not aware of any facts other than my little calculation.

I believe Title 10 and 41 as they relate to federal contracting should be obliterated.  

Here is one itty-bitty part of the contracting law that I especially hate.

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SEC. 5112. CAPITAL PLANNING AND INVESTMENT CONTROL. (a) FEDERAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.—The Director shall perform the responsibilities set forth in this section in fulfilling the responsibilities under section 3504(h) of title 44, United States Code.

SEC. 5112. CAPITAL PLANNING AND INVESTMENT CONTROL

(e) DESIGNATION OF EXECUTIVE AGENTS FOR ACQUISITIONS.— The Director shall designate (as the Director considers appropriate) one or more heads of executive agencies as executive agent for Government-wide acquisitions of information technology.  (excerpts from PUBLIC LAW 104–106—FEB. 10, 1996)

That authorized the Director of OMB to make mini central suppliers so they could make their own big-box acquisitions and share them with others or compete against others.  

Here is a question:  How many federal agencies does it take to buy a laptop computer?

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5 hours ago, bob7947 said:

I did a little calculating.  $15,505,407,941 / 1,139 = $13,613,176 obligations per task order (rounded).  I know using obligations is not correct but that is close enough.  You asked 4 questions.  My answers are 1) probably not, 2) probably not, 3) probably not, and 4) not aware of any facts other than my little calculation.

I completely agree.  As far as facts, the data is very limited and use of what exists would be practically meaningless.  I’ve seen some individual agency data on expeditiousness between task order awards and comparable contracts.  It’s nearly impossible to base a fair comparison because circumstances vary so much and the volume of transactions is small.  It would take a governmentwide analysis to come to valid conclusions

I do think GWACS MATOCs have the potential to make awards easier and quicker but not less costly.  That’s assuming ordering agencies follow proper procedures like not incorporating FAR 15 processes and use “fair opportunity” the right way. The problem is ordering agencies, at least at the contracting officer levels, either don’t understand what should be done, afraid to try it, or are forced by others in the contracting office to stick with FAR 15 processes.  

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11 hours ago, formerfed said:

I do think GWACS MATOCs have the potential to make awards easier and quicker but not less costly.  That’s assuming ordering agencies follow proper procedures like not incorporating FAR 15 processes and use “fair opportunity” the right way.

Not possible.

Compare FAR 16.505(b), Orders under multiple award contractsas first published in the Federal Register on September 26, 1995, with the monstrosity in FAR today. If you investigate what happened and why, you will understand the futility of seeking acquisition process improvement by putting a powerful tool in the hands of political appointees, thoughtless managers, and working-level persons whom have not been properly trained its use.

The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) was a systemic failure. And whatever you may think of the concepts of the MATOC and GWAC, the execution has been a costly and irremediable bureaucratic disaster.

  • The bid and proposal costs incurred for task order competitions must be astronomical.
  • Reform created a new litigation specialty and industry. A generation of lawyers have devoted their professional lives to it. The litigation costs incurred since the law was amended in 2008 to allow task and delivery-order fair opportunity protests must be unimaginable.
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