Update: Protest of $18M DHS USCIS Technical Operations Support Services (TOSS) task denied

Updated January 6, 2022

“DIGEST – Protest alleging that agency misevaluated proposals and made an unreasonable source selection decision is denied where the record shows that the agency’s evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation.”

“DISCUSSION – The protester contends the agency erred in evaluating the awardee’s proposal in three respects, and also in conducting the best-value tradeoff.2 First, the protester contends the awardee’s management approach submission did not address key personnel qualifications. Supp. Protest and Comments at 4-8. Second, the protester argues the awardee’s management approach submission also failed to demonstrate the awardee’s ability to provide a comprehensive management dashboard as required by the RFP. 2nd Supp. Protest at 4-8. Third, the protester maintains the agency did not adequately consider the awardee’s decision to use the help desk specialist labor category for tier one support. Supp. Protest and Comments at 8-15. Finally, the protester contends the best-value tradeoff relied mechanically on adjectival ratings, and failed to “look behind” the ratings to the substance of the proposals. Id. at 15-19. We address these arguments in turn…”

“Preliminarily, we note that the RFP did not require the kind of detailed response that the protester’s arguments seem to contemplate. While the protester is correct that the RFP required offerors to demonstrate an understanding of the “Key Personnel qualification requirements,” the RFP also provided that “[k]ey personnel resumes are not requested nor required,” and that offerors need only identify key personnel and provide a statement of qualifications after the task order award. RFP at 61, 64, 95. Nevertheless, the record reflects that the awardee, which is the incumbent contractor with many of its key personnel currently performing under the incumbent contract, identified all of its key personnel, by name, in its proposal and provided a description of their skills mapped to the functional requirements of the PWS. See AR, Exh. 8, ValidaTek Proposal at 25-26. Moreover, the awardee’s proposal explained its staffing approach would ensure that its personnel “meet or exceed” the agency’s requirements, and would deliver “professionals with the skills and training to achieve contract objectives.” Id. at 26. That is to say, the awardee’s proposal identified its proposed key personnel, although it was not required to do so, and included a general statement that it intended to meet the solicitation’s requirements for personnel…”

“Preliminarily, we note the solicitation required offerors to address issues related to dashboard management and reporting in both the technical and management approach sections of their proposals. Specifically, the RFP required offerors to address the requirements of the PWS in their technical approach submissions, and the PWS identified “dashboard management and reporting” as a required function. RFP at 60, 73. Similarly, the RFP required offerors to demonstrate the “ability to provide a comprehensive management dashboard on incident management for reporting purposes” in their management approach submissions. RFP at 62. Relevant here, the agency notes that the awardee, as the incumbent contractor, developed and currently maintains just such a comprehensive management dashboard for the agency. 2nd Supp. MOL at 3 n. 3; 2nd Supp. COS at 1-2. In the awardee’s management approach submission, the awardee explained it is the incumbent contractor for the technical operations center, and, in that role, currently operates and maintains all of the agency’s infrastructure….”

“DECISION – Strategic Operational Solutions (SOS), Inc., a small service-disabled veteran-owned small business of Sterling, Virginia, protests the issuance of a task order to ValidaTekCITI, LLC, a small business of McLean, Virginia, by the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, under Request for Proposals (RFP) 70SBUR21R00000025 issued pursuant to the National Institutes of Health’s Chief Information Officer–Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) multiple award indefinitedelivery, indefinite-quantity contract for network engineering and support services. The protester alleges that the awardee’s proposal did not address material requirements of the solicitation, and the agency erred in conducting its best-value tradeoff decision. We deny the protest.”

Read the full 9-page decision here.

Updated December 20, 2021 

G2X TAKE: The protest by Strategic Operational Solutions related to this 4-year task to provide technical operations support services to the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services has now been denied. 

No details are available at this time but they will be shared as they are. 

Posted September 22, 2021 

G2X TAKE: A protest has been levied by Strategic Operational Solutions related to this 4-year task to provide technical operations support services to the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

No details are available as to the grounds for the protest at this time but they will be shared here as they are available. The listed due date for a decision is no later than December 27, 2021. 

This task was awarded to ValidaTek-Citi, who beat out six other bidders for this requirement competed using CIO-SP3 SB.


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