FBI pushes back award date for $7B IT pact


Protests continue to dog the blanket purchase agreement called ITSSS-2, through which the FBI will buy a broad range of IT services.

CORRECTION: This article has been upated to remove Deloitte, which did not protest the ITSSS-2 contract, and replace it with Ernst & Young.

Because of continuing protest delays, the FBI says it cannot award the blanket purchase agreement it calls ITSSS-2 until late May.

The $7 billion IT Supplies and Support Service 2nd Generation BPA uses a multiple-phase approach to narrow down the proposals. General Dynamics IT, Ernst & Young, and Qbase are among those who have filed protests because the FBI told them they should consider withdrawing.

But the Government Accountability Office dismissed those protests as premature because the FBI’s down-selects do not eliminate anyone from the competition. They are considered advisory evaluations.

While the FBI may have suggested the companies withdraw, they still had the choice to continue.

GAO told the companies that because they are still in the competition, there is nothing to protest. But they can protest after awards are made, assuming that they don’t win a spot on the BPA.

But since then, SMX and Computer World Services Corp. have filed fresh protests of their own. It is not entirely clear what they are objecting to, but these are not as straightforward as the other pre-award protests.

The protests led the FBI to announce in a special notice last week that the earliest it can make awards is May 24. While the protests are active, the agency can continue its evaluations but it cannot name winners.

GAO has a May 15 deadline to resolve the SMX and Computer World Services Corp. protests. The FBI’s anticipated award date comes after that.

Of course, more protests are possible after awards are announced and losers debriefed.

This BPA has a long history of issues. It was originally called the IT Enterprise Contract Services and it should have been awarded in 2020, but several protests and attempted fixes fell short. The FBI eventually cancelled that procurement and hit the reset button.

The new solicitation came out in June 2023 and the FBI renamed the program to ITSSS-2, or IT Triple S.