More protest troubles for NetCents

The Air Force reopens talks with the protestors of the NetCents II Applications contract as it tries to address their complaints. Are more awards in the works?

Pick your word for Air Force’s NetCents II program: Troubled. Snake-bit. Debacle.

But the Air Force has now pulled back somewhat from the award decisions involving the $960 million NetCents II Applications contract that went to six companies last month.

This part of the program joins NetCents II Products as being plagued with protests and reconsiderations. The products contract has gone through three rounds of award decisions.

This is the first round of awards for the applications contract, and sources are telling me the Air Force actions are a little different when compared to the products contract.

In the case of the products contract, the Air Force reopened the solicitation for rounds one and two but for round three they added more winners to the companies named in round two. Yes, it gets a little confusing.

But for NetCents II Applications, the Air Force is working with the individual companies and reopening talks around the specific points raised in their protests. That’s why the dismissals by GAO came in three batches.

First Computer Sciences Corp.’s protest was dismissed last week, then General Dynamics' on Monday.

And then, on Wednesday, the protests by the others were dismissed.

Dismissals by GAO generally occur when an agency says it is considering a corrective action.

The awards to the original winners still stand, as far as I can tell.

The corrective action by the Air Force could result in some protesters being added to the list of winners.

If a company isn’t given a contract by the Air Force, it has the right to refile its protest.

So, this one isn’t over yet, and the Air Force still hasn’t put its NetCents troubles behind it.

As one source said: “They haven’t even made the awards for the services contract yet, so just wait.”