The General Services Administration has stretched the bid deadline for its Alliant 2 submission by two weeks, following a protest filed by a Vienna, Virginia-based contractor.
Federal News Radio reported on Aug. 15 that Enterprise Information Services had filed a complaint regarding the terms for solicitation in Alliant 2 Unrestricted request for proposal.
But GSA officials said in an email that the extension was to allow contractors more time to gather contracting officer-approved proposal templates for submission.
"The extension of the receipt of Alliant 2 proposals is not related to the protest, but rather to allow an additional two weeks for offerors to collect their Contracting Officer-signed proposal templates from their client agencies," a GSA spokesperson said.
The highly anticipated Alliant 2 contract vehicles will provide $50 billion in IT services split between the Alliant 2 Unrestricted and Alliant 2 Small Business RFPs.
The new deadlines extend the submission periods to Sept. 12 for the Alliant 2 Small Business RFP and Sept. 13 for the Alliant 2 Unrestricted.
Federal News Radio said in its original protest story the EIS filed its protest because "violates federal contracting law as it does not state that the agency will perform a cost realism analysis before picking the multiple awardees. The company says since some of the task orders under Alliant will be the cost reimbursement type, it means the RFP has to have a cost realism review."
GSA officials said at an Aug. 2 event that protests had become part of the status quo in terms of acquisition, requiring them to build in time to handle the complaints filed into the contract timetable.
"We expect them, unfortunately," said Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for Office of Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. "Everything we are doing, we’re like in an evaluation mode. But what we are trying to do through this whole thing is have more dialogue [with industry.]"
GSA has developed multiple outreach channels in an effort to better communicate with industry and avert some of the contract protests, but regional commissioner and Professional Services Category executive Tiffany Hixson said at the Aug. 2 event that protests have become a kind of way of life for federal acquisition.
"Right now, we are planning that the protest cycle will be the longest part of the acquisition cycle," she said. "I’m just resigned to that this is how it’s going to be."