Why CIO-SP4 requirements to acquire a timeout
The federal government’s will need for wellbeing details engineering answers is large and is only envisioned to grow exponentially as we carry on to get well and answer to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But a single of the government’s largest purchasers of commercially-readily available overall health IT solutions is battling to figure out particularly what it desires to acquire and how to do the shopping for during a time when retaining pace with technological advancements is a prime precedence of the administration.
Inside the Office of Health and Human Companies is the Countrywide Institutes of Health and fitness Data Technology Acquisition and Evaluation Heart, a entire-services acquisition system that has been selected a federal Government Agent, authorized by the Office of Administration and Finances to administer Governing administration-Broad Acquisition Contracts for IT acquisitions.
The subsequent iteration of the NITAAC Chief Facts Officer-Answer Partners contract auto has the opportunity to harness non-public sector capabilities and innovations to help federal government agencies capitalize on new chances for scientific exploration and deal with new difficulties for human health and fitness.
The CIO-SP3 contract, through both the small enterprise and unrestricted tracks, is commonly seen by the sector and govt agencies that NITAAC serves as a thriving car or truck for health-connected details engineering requirements.
In excess of the very last 18 months, the Qualified Expert services Council has furnished feedback to NITAAC on quite a few instances on needed clarifications to the CIO-SP4 last request for proposals and the significance of satisfactory timelines for proposal submissions. PSC expressed problem that the levels of competition was underneath-resourced, then requested for both of those one more draft RFP and NITAAC to publish the OMB organization circumstance so that market and potential offerors can evaluate it. The OMB MAX program is not a method that sector can entry.
Surely there are “commitments” from agencies to help the business enterprise situation for finding OMB approval for CIO-SP4. The absence of govt customer expending projections beyond an examination of prior CIO-SP3 spending only hampers significant small business selections for companies on no matter whether to contend for this GWAC or hold out for other GWACs these types of as GSA Polaris, GSA Products and services MAC, or current vehicles.
Or reported an additional way: an unsuccessful CIO-SP4 GWAC is an existential danger to the prolonged-term success of NITAAC, the broader potential of the governing administration acquisition workforce to award contracts in a well timed manner, and jeopardizes the vitality of wellbeing IT enterprises that request to assistance the federal authorities with non-public sector answers.
Sadly, the CIO-SP4 re-level of competition has been frequently delayed. The remaining RFP was prepared for December 15, 2020 but was last but not least launched on May possibly 25, 2021. The very first 7 amendments posted due to the fact late May possibly 2021 have served to additional compound business worries and have compelled potential offerors to think about choice procedures or make your mind up not to bid on the CIO-SP4 possibility at all.
Numerous short extensions for significant overhauls of teaming preparations replicate NITAAC’s disregard for or misunderstanding of how sector prepares teams and remedies in today’s govt technological innovation and qualified companies market.
It appears that private debate among the the many stakeholders in just the govt that transpired in the course of the slide, winter, and spring, are now staying played out publicly through these various amendments to the closing RFP. PSC encourages all federal government entities that contact this procurement, together with the Tiny Business enterprise Administration, to discuss with 1 voice by means of NITAAC about what the CIO-SP4 GWAC will be, how presents will be evaluated and how the deal will be executed.
In a June 28, letter to NITAAC leadership, PSC requested NITAAC overview several choices mirrored in the last RFP as amended with thing to consider to applicable regulations and restrictions and to share promptly the rationale for these decisions with field by way of procurement documentation.
In a July 22, letter to HHS and NIH acquisition leadership, PSC pointed out that Amendment 7 to the ultimate RFP for CIO-SP4 likely now calls for offerors to abandon or greatly alter present partnerships / teaming buildings. These adjustments entail a major administrative burden for contractors. The more two months presented by the modification for bid submission (extending the owing day from July 23 to August 3) is inadequate.
Marketplace desires NITAAC to appear to a consensus, place down their pen, and make certain that interested offerors have enough, uninterrupted time to respond. Thirty times should really be the bare minimum. Forty-five days would not be an unreasonable ask for offered the record of this solicitation.
Amendment 8 issued on July 23 appeared to have assisted several organizations determine to keep in the levels of competition. On July 29, NITAAC produced proposal submission recommendations and business is interpreting this enhancement as a sign that no additional important amendments are forthcoming and the recent acquisition timeline will keep.
As of this crafting, there are a number of pre-award protests pending and proposals are due tomorrow — Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
If the previous calendar year and a half has proven us nearly anything, we need to choose most gain of what technological abilities exist in the personal sector and convey it to bear with federal government for the health and fitness and reward of all.
Bradley Saull is vice president for civilian businesses at the Professional Providers Council.