Judge sets schedule for CIO-SP4 protests

Gettyimages.com/ Chris Collins

The National Institutes of Health's IT arm has about four weeks to file its administrative record for the $50 billion CIO-SP4 IT contract, followed by other deadlines through the summer and fall.

The federal judge overseeing the protests against the CIO-SP4 contract vehicle has released a schedule for filing motions and submissions as the case moves forward.

Not scheduled yet are oral arguments for the group of protests filed by companies objecting to how the National Institutes of Health's IT Acquisition and Assessment Center has managed the $50 billion IT services contract.

Right now, 15 companies have filed protests at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims after their elimination from the competition.

These protests follow more than 300 that were previously filed at the Government Accountability Office. Multiple corrective actions by NITAAC have followed, as have GAO recommendations for how NITAAC should proceed.

Most of the protests have revolved around how NITAAC used a self-scoring methodology to eliminate bidders in phase one of the competition.

NITAAC has until June 28 to file its administrative record of the procurement with the court.

The protesters have until Aug. 14 to file motions for judgement based on the administrative record. NITAAC has until Sept. 18 to file their response to the motions for judgment.

By Oct. 4, the protesters will file a response to NITAAC’s response. NITAAC can file a fresh response to those responses by Oct. 23.

While not yet scheduled, the oral arguments will come sometime after Oct. 23.

A legal source told me that the filing of the scheduling order on May 30 should send a signal to other companies sitting on the sidelines that if they want to join the protest, they need to file soon.

We will watch the court docket closely to see if more companies join the fray.

In the meantime, the 15 complaints filed with the court remained sealed so details on the protests are sparse.

Our understanding is that group of protesters is challenging the self-scoring methodology and NITAAC’s evaluation of proposals after phase one.

Because of the numerous protests, NITAAC has extended the current CIO-SP3 several times. The current end date is Oct. 29 unless NITAAC extends it again.