The Government Accountability Office’s protest decision directing the CIA to reopen a competition for a private cloud infrastructure after awarding a contract worth up to $600 million over 4 years with options for up to 5 more years hinges in great measure on ambiguity within the initial solicitation.
The GAO released earlier this month a June 6 bid protest decision filed by IBM after it lost the best value competition to Amazon Web Services.
As part of the 2012 solicitation, the CIA required proposers to price out a scenario under which they would provide a hosting environment for a large number of orders – 30 such orders in the first year of the contract – each consisting of 100 terabytes of data.
IBM interpreted the scenario to mean that it should price a first-year solution capable of processing 30 single runs of 100 TB, whereas the CIA thought it was asking for what the protest decision calls “continual processing” for each order. IBM told the GAO the latter interpretation amounted to an unstated requirement, an objection that bid protest attorneys say is in fact moot, since IBM failed to raise it with the GAO before proposals were due.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/gao-bid-protest-cia-cloud-hinges-greatly-solicitation-ambiguity/2013-06-19
The GAO’s bid protest decision can be found at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655241.pdf