WHY THE ALLIANT 2 PROTESTS WON’T CAUSE DELAYS
As of this writing, five companies have filed post-award protests with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) over GSA’s decision to not award their company an Alliant 2 contract. While GAO technically has up to 100 days to decide a protest, they will play almost no real role in delaying Alliant 2 business. First, GSA issued a very sound, thoroughly researched RFP for Alliant 2. They held extensive discussions with industry. GSA has made it a point to be specific and clear in its requirements for the original Alliant contract and OASIS. These steps do not prevent a company from protesting, but they do tend to substantially reduce the likelihood of a successful protest. This could well shorten the length of time it takes to dispose of all protests. Second, it is more likely that budget issues will delay new Alliant 2 starts. All government agencies are operating under a Continuing Resolution right now. That is likely still going to be the case well into the 2018 calendar year. Even in the unlikely event that the GAO protests run their full course, agencies won’t have money for new starts until spring. Third, agencies and contractors will take their time to transition. It is well-known that both federal agencies and contractors prefer dealing with time-tested solutions and don’t want to be the first to jump into the new contracting pool. So it will be with Alliant 2 as well. Look for work to be added to the existing Alliant contracts in the near term, with a transition to Alliant 2 coming later in the 2018 calendar year.