SAN DIEGO — The CIO-SP3 contract is in need of yet another extension. The National Institutes of Health IT Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) is working through the process to add six more months to the current expiration date of April 29.

Brian Goodger, the NITAAC director, said NITAAC is planning to keep CIO-SP3 open through October 29 and have the option for another six months after that, if necessary.

Brian Goodger is the director of NITAAC.

“The justification for approval to continue the contract still needs a final sign off,” Goodger said at the AFCEA West conference yesterday. “If you are on the CIO-SP3 contract vehicle, once the extension is approved, it will run through the entire fiscal year.”

Goodger said the reason for the new extension is, once again, because of protests holding up the CIO-SP4 governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC). He said the vehicle is facing six new protests before the Court of Federal Claims, and resolving those complaints could take up to a year.

“Those six are represented by the same one or two law firms. This Friday we will find out which judge is appointed by the COFC,” Goodger said. “That is important because some judges tend to side with the government and others tend to side with industry so we may be able to discern where this latest set of protests are going.”

Should this extension go through, it would push the expiration date of CIO-SP3 more than two years past the original sunset date of May 2022.

The six protests bring the total number of protests above 350 in two plus years. NITAAC has won a majority of the complaints.

The latest round of complaints came after Goodger said NITAAC alerted 464 vendors in January that they had tentatively met requirements of the contract for award, and now NITAAC is doing their due diligence before making a final award decision.

“We rescored and revalidated the bids that we got last fall,” he said. “The number of points needed to meet the threshold to win a spot on the contract went down. We increased the number of potential winners from 431 to 464.”

NITAAC’s CIO-CS gets new name

While NITAAC continues to push the CIO-SP4 contract across the finish line, Goodger said it’s about to start the hard work on the follow-on to the CIO-CS vehicle.

He said, first off, NITAAC is changing the name of CIO-CS from CIO Commodities and Solutions to CIO Commodities Store.

NITAAC awarded the 10-year CIO-CS GWAC to 64 companies, all value-added resellers (VARs) or other equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2015. CIO-CS is an IT products contract for end-user hardware and software as well as several other commercial technologies.

“I expect the number of awards to go up by 30% or 40% with an equal proportion of VARS and OEMs,” Goodger said.

He said NITAAC will issue a sources sought notice for the next version of CIO-CS in late March. The acquisition organization doesn’t plan on issuing a draft request for proposals, and plans to release the final solicitation in the June or July time frame.

Goodger said NITAAC expects to make awards by late January 2025, and if all goes well, the new CIO-CS contract would start by May.

He said NITAAC likely will not use a self-scoring sheet, and it will be based on best value evaluation factors and not lowest-price, technically acceptable (LPTA).

“We expect CIO-CS to get fewer proposals than CIO-SP4,” he said. “We likely will not have an on-ramp because the interest isn’t there for products like it is for services. But we will have an off ramp for those companies that are not competing or have not won any task orders and are not complying with the administrative requirements after a year or two.”

Goodger said NITAAC is paying attention to the experience of the Department of Homeland Security  and its FirstSource III contract, which similarly is for IT products. DHS is in its third year of trying to award this contract with a $1.5 billion ceiling. He said NITAAC met with DHS acquisition officials recently to discuss their approach and challenges to FirstSource III.

CIO-CS has been a fairly successful contract with more than $2.3 billion in obligations over the nine years, well under the $20 billion ceiling. By contrast, CIO-SP3 received more than $5 billion in obligations last year alone.


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