Recently the Defense Information Systems Agency (“DISA”) issued
a sole-source Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to VMWare covering
thousands of DISA’s licensing agreements with server-virtualization
giant VMWare. DISA’s justification for the sole-source RFP seemed
to be based in logic and efficiency. DISA said that it has more than two
million VMWare licenses procured through more than 9,270 separate procurement
transactions over the past five years. DISA said that it is attempting
to reduce the administration of these millions of licenses spread across
the thousands of procurements.
"VMWare software is fully implemented and integrated into the DoD's
architecture and has been for more than 11 years. VMWare has become the
architectural standard…. The continued brand-name software support
is required in order to maintain uniformity, common troubleshooting and
service techniques. Given the proprietary nature of software code, it
would not be possible for another brand of software to provide software
support for the current VMWare license inventory."
What has raised the hackles of some of the largest cloud service providers,
including Amazon Web Services and Citrix, is what is also included in
the procurement: VMWare software for desktop-as-a-service, desktop virtualization,
virtual storage and more. Several companies have claimed that the RFP
is actually an improper sole-source request that would give VMWare an
unfair advantage and stifle competition.
Bid protests have been filed with the Government Accountability Office
(“GAO”) by Amazon, Citrix, and many others. GAO has one hundred
days from the date the protests were filed to render a decision. However,
in the meantime DISA could retract the RFP and amend it in response to
the concerns laid out in the bid protests. It remains to be seen what
the outcome will be.
Government contracting is a competitive business governed extensively by
the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”). While the FAR
is designed to promote efficiency and accountability in government purchasing,
sometimes by design or inadvertence a situation arises during a procurement
that tilts the playing field unfairly. In those cases, it is essential
to have an experienced government contracts attorney fighting for you.
There are remedies available under the FAR that can level the playing
field and in some cases stop the procurement entirely until the defects
The government contracts attorneys at The Federal Practice Group Worldwide
Service are knowledgeable about the requirements of the FAR and how they
apply in real life. They have fought for government contractors in the
United States and abroad, working to make sure that their clients are
afforded the treatment to which they are entitled under the FAR.
If your company is in a government procurement currently or has been involved
in a government procurement that you believe proceeded unfairly, contact
the experienced government contracts attorneys at The Federal Practice
Group Worldwide Service today for a case evaluation.