CIO-SP4 protests in federal claims court prompt extension request for existing vehicle

NITAAC is requesting to extend the existing vehicle, CIO-SP3, to Oct. 29, the agency confirmed.
A close-up of the administration building at National Institutes of Health. (NIH photo)

New bid protests filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims over a $50 billion, governmentwide IT contract vehicle known as CIO-SP4 prompted the agency handling it to request for an extension of the existing vehicle, an official confirmed.

“The CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business extension requests are currently being routed for approval,” Ricky Clark, deputy director of the National Institutes of Health’s Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC), said in an emailed statement to FedScoop.

The news comes a little over a month after NITAAC again started sending out new notices to successful and unsuccessful CIO-SP4 offerors following corrective action by the agency. The filings in federal court, which are not time-limited, could further delay the award process.

“Protests have been filed at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC) against the CIO-SP4 procurement. Unlike Government Accountability Office (GAO) protests, which are typically decided within 100 days, COFC protests have no set timeline for a decision,” Clark said in the statement. 


As a result, the agency is requesting the existing vehicle, CIO-SP3, be extended to Oct. 29 so there is no break in service, a NITAAC spokesperson confirmed. That vehicle had previously been extended through April 29. Federal News Network was first to report the news.

CIO-SP4 — which stands for Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 — is the fourth version of a 10-year, governmentwide contract vehicle for acquiring IT products and specialized services. 

The solicitation has faced challenges from companies seeking to be included in it since NITAAC first requested proposals in May 2021. NITAAC’s July commitment to corrective action came after the GAO sustained dozens of offerors’ challenges to the competition process for the solicitation. 

“​​Agency customers should be assured that NITAAC is open for business and both the CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business [government wide acquisition contracts] are available for agency use,” Clark said. “NITAAC is ready and capable of fulfilling all your task and delivery orders to ensure all your mission-critical information technology needs are met.”

NITAAC didn’t provide additional details about the protests in the Court of Federal Claims.

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