Protest ping-pong engulfs $345M Veterans Affairs contract RealPeopleGroup

GovCIO and General Dynamics IT continue to trade blows as the file conversion contract has turned into a perpetual loop of protests and corrective actions.

The battle between GovCIO and General Dynamics IT over a potential $345 million file conversion contract with the Veterans Affairs Department has taken on an element of Groundhog Day.

One side wins. The other side protests. VA takes a corrective action. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Let’s see if I can tell this story succinctly, starting out by noting that GDIT is the incumbent.

GovCIO originally won the contract in late 2022 to provide file-to-file conversion services including file indexing management. The contract was worth up to $246 million at the time.

GDIT filed the first protest in this saga to argue that the evaluations were flawed and GovCIO wasn’t capable of meeting the contract’s requirements.

In March 2023, the Government Accountability Office ruled that VA made mistakes in the evaluation and therefore should reconsider the GovCIO award.

When it came time for VA to make a new award in August 2023, they picked GDIT for what became a $400 million contract.

That decision spurred a protest by GovCIO to complain that GDIT tried to sabotage the former's relationship with Exela Technologies, which brought document scanning technologies to the GovCIO team.

GovCIO also objected to how VA evaluated its proposal.

VA decided to take a corrective action by late August 2023, reopen discussions with the bidders, accept revised proposals and then make yet another new award.

GDIT again won the contract in December 2023. GovCIO responded with another protest and VA took another corrective action in January by again reopening discussions to inform a new award decision.

VA has again awarded GDIT the contract, now pegged at $345 million. GovCIO has now returned with another protest.

GovCIO is questioning the reasonableness of the award and how VA evaluated its proposal. The company is also raising questions about the best-value tradeoff decision.

A GAO decision is due Sept. 11.

Will the pattern continue with another corrective action? One would hope that VA can have this wrapped up now.

So maybe we’ll see another GAO decision. But with this one, I’m making no predictions.