COVID Causes Delay in CIO-SP4; Goodger Says RFP Coming Soon

NITAAC Acting Director Brian Goodger said today that the eagerly awaited request for proposal for CIO-SP4 “has been delayed due to events that are, quite simply, out of our control” and the last sign-off needed to post the RFP is expected next week.

The latest National Institute of Health’s Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) governmentwide acquisition contract is expected to be worth $40 billion. CIO-SP3 ends in May 2022. Civilian agencies, with the Department of Health and Human Services being the top one, account for three-quarters of NITAAC orders while the Defense Department accounts for the rest.

The GWAC has a heavy small-business footprint and includes set-asides; average orders for small business, HUBZone, SDVOSB, 8(a), and Women Owned range from $15,000 to $400 million in CIO-SP3. In fiscal year 2019, 62 awards totaled more than $3.5 billion under CIO-SP3, and 106 awards accounted for more than $1.8 billion to small businesses.

NITAAC said early this year that questions and comments on the final RFP would be due Feb. 1 with a proposal due date of March 15. The source selection award process was anticipated in early fall, leading to a Jan. 31, 2022, award issuance deadline. Protests would be reviewed from February to April 2022.

“We know the industry is eagerly awaiting the release of the CIO-SP4 Request for Proposal (RFP). We are, too. We understand the important role our GWACs play for not only the federal government, but the industry as well,” Goodger said today in a statement “to update everyone on where we stand in the process and provide some clarity around the delays we have experienced in the RFP’s release.”

Because NIH “has been intimately involved in the fight against COVID-19,” he said, “we experienced a delay in obtaining business case approval.”

“That delay caused a subsequent delay in getting approval from the SBA PCR.  The Office of Management and Budget has received a draft copy of the business case and has provided a verbal approval to post the RFP once all signatures have been obtained. The last signature we need to obtain is that of the SPE at HHS, which we expect next week.”

Goodger added that “as we await the release of CIO-SP4, I wanted to remind our federal partners that CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business are very much viable options for meeting all of your procurement needs, not only now, but for five years after your task orders are placed.”

NITAAC says contracts are awarded through a comprehensive evaluation process including technical capabilities, past performance, and small business subcontracting plans. For CIO-SP4, “the ceiling value of each contract will increase, likely from $20 billion to $40 billion,” there may be “a phased evaluation approach that requires vendors to fill out a self scoring sheet” that “may be evaluated using a point system and cut-off,” and “corporate experience will likely be used as an evaluation factor,” according to NITAAC. “The number of small business awards will likely stay about the same from CIO-SP3 to CIO-SP4.”

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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