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GSA delays Alliant again, but… you’d barely know that from the press release

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OK — so I get the role of communications people is to figure out the best way to put the bad news. But also the role of agency communications people is to… well, communicate.

GSA today announced that its troubled multi-billion Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract was being delayed — yes, yet again.

But here is the release they sent out:

GSA Provides Alliant Small Business and Alliant Program Updates

Washington — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is providing an update on the status of the Alliant Small Business and Alliant Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC).

GSA’s Director of GWACs and IT Schedule 70, Mary Powers-King said, “I am pleased to announce positive progress.” Alliant Small Business re-evaluations have been completed and the contract is on schedule for award by the end of December, 2008.

For Alliant, GSA has completed the technical and cost/price re-evaluation of the Alliant offers based on recommendations and findings of the Court of Federal Claims. It has been determined that it is necessary to enter into discussions with the Offerors to maximize the Government’s ability to obtain best value for our customers. Once the information requested through discussions is provided from the Offerors, a new anticipated award date will be made available.

Alliant Small Business and Alliant provide federal agencies a centralized source to acquire integrated information technology (IT) solutions worldwide. Each contract has a 5-year base period with one 5-year option. Alliant is valued at $50 billion and Alliant Small Business at $15 billion. The contracts provide streamlined access to a broad range of management and technical support services, enabling total and complex IT solutions to be acquired under a pre-competed multiple award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (MA/IDIQ) contract.

There is more, but… you get the point. (I’d point to it online, but… I can’t find it online.)

So the key piece of information, in case you missed it, is this line: “Once the information requested through discussions is provided from the Offerors, a new anticipated award date will be made available.” The translation here: We’re not on schedule… We’re not going to make the end of the year like we said. But, of course, even the headline suggests this is just a status update. Really?

Why not say that? Why make people guess what they are saying? Frankly, it just ticks people off even more.

After the break, you can read the history of the Alliant contract.
Stories that FCW has covered about Alliant:

GSA gives Alliant a second look [May 19, 2008]
Agency tries to debunk claims of flaws in the procurement selection process.

GSA to re-evaluate Alliant bids (May 14, 2008)

FCW Insider: GSA’s Alliant way forward announced at IAC meeting Wednesday (May 13, 2008)

GSA re-examines Alliant Small Business awards (April 1, 2008)

Alliant faces months-long setback (March 31, 2008)

Editorial: GSA’s Alliant lessons (March 31, 2008)
GSA needs to take proactive steps to assure its customers that they can have faith in the government’s contracting organization.

Written by cdorobek

December 8, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Posted in GSA, procurement

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