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The protesters allegations pertaining to a biased ground rules OCI focus on a requirement in IBMs FSPS contract for the contractor to identify changes that may be needed to bring source systems, including GFEBS, into compliance with guidance provided by the Treasury and Office of the Secretary of Defense. BAE also argues that the COs conclusions regarding the advisors understanding of his stock holdings, the size of the stock holdings and their significance, and the effect of his disposition of the stock were unreasonable, and did not address the appearance that the award to Leidos was tainted. As discussed above, however, where an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether a conflict exists, we will not substitute our judgment for the agencys, absent clear evidence that the agencys conclusion is unreasonable. Here, we find that the CO considered the relevant available record and concluded that there was no basis to find that the advisors role required exclusion of Leidos. AR, Tab 11, PWS, at 6; AR, Tab 27, DRS Technical Proposal, at 10-11; AR, Tab 31, LMIS Technical Proposal, at 13; Supp. As such, we find that with agencys OCI investigation was not reasonable, as it did not meaningfully consider whether the relevant tasks contained in sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.3 would create an impaired objectivity OCI for LMIS. B-411573.2, B-411573.3: Nov 9, 2015) (pdf)The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) sets forth clear and unambiguous guidelines concerning the conduct of government personnel that engage in contracting activities.
Specifically, the FSPS contractor is required to review, at least annually, the most current guidance from Treasury and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) regarding the United States Standard General Ledger and Department of Defense Standard Chart of Accounts (DOD SCOA), respectively. In this connection, the contractor is to compare the DOD SCOA and GFEBS Reporting Chart of Accounts, and identify additions or removals which should be made to ensure the source systems compliance with the DOD SCOA. The FSPS contractor is then required to provide the listing of proposed changes to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) staff. The protester argues that IBM has the ability to choose which recommendations to make or not make and speculates that such recommendations may have impacted the GFEBS RFTOP/SOW in a manner that favored IBM. The protester has not, however, alleged any hard facts regarding recommendations made by IBM that impacted the GFEBS requirements, nor has it even provided a description of the type of recommendation IBM could have made in its FSPS role that would have skewed the competition in its favor. Because the advisor did not work for Leidos during the competition for the award under the revised AIE-3 solicitation, his ownership of Leidos stock was the sole connection that gave rise to a potential PCI. The most fundamental guidance provides as follows: Government business shall be conducted in a manner above reproach and, except as authorized by statute or regulation, with complete impartiality and with preferential treatment for none.
In this regard, the CO concluded that [t]he information that IBM receives is financial information from all [Enterprise Resource Planning] systems, which includes the GFEBS system but does not contain it singularly and would not permit IBM to have unequal access to information. However, a mitigation plan will still be required to address potential conflicts between SMASS III and the offerors roles in KLXS II and under other prime contract and subcontract arrangements. will evaluate its own offers for products or services, or those of a competitor, without proper safeguards to ensure objectivity to protect the Government's interest. As NASA concisely summarized, some of the functions of the SMASS III contract involve risk assessments, inspections, investigations, engineering analyses, and evaluations of work performed by NASA contractors, which expressly included the KLXS contractor. NASA argues that the SEB reviewed Alphaports proposed OCI mitigation plan, and found it to be appropriate. Specifically, NASA argues that the SEB reviewed a labor distribution and mapping template in Alphaports proposal to discern that the program supported by MEIs KLXS contract would not be overseen by MEI staff in performing the SMASS III contract. Accordingly, NASA argues that all OCI concerns were clearly addressed and mitigated. Our Office reviews an agencys OCI investigation for reasonableness, and so, where an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether a significant conflict of interest exists, we will not substitute our judgment for the agencys, absent clear evidence that the agencys conclusion is unreasonable. Unequal Access to Information OCI Finally, BAE argues that Leidos had unequal access to nonpublic information in the protesters proposal as a result of Old SAICs support to the Army in connection with the AIE-2 contract and the AIE-3 procurement. For this reason, the CO concluded that there was no basis to believe Leidos had unequal access to information as a result of work performed by New SAIC. With regard to Old SAICs role in the competition, prior to its reorganization, the CO concluded that the NDAs between the contractor personnel and the government, and between Old SAIC and the offerors who submitted proposals, provided adequate assurance that Leidos did not receive access to competitively useful nonpublic information. Specifically, the CO found that all Old SAIC employees who had access to competitively sensitive information in connection with the AIE-2 contract and the AIE-3 competition had signed NDAs that addressed their obligations to safeguard offeror information. An agency may reasonably conclude that an NDA mitigates the possibility of an unfair competitive advantage arising from unequal access to information, provided the agency reasonably concludes that the terms of the NDA prohibited the use of the information in a way that would give a firm an unfair competitive advantage. In the absence of hard facts showing that the NDAs were ineffective in precluding Leidos from gaining access to information that could have provided an unfair competitive advantage, we find no basis to sustain the protest. B-411810.3: Jun 24, 2016) (pdf)ASM and the agency offer fundamentally different characterizations of the scope of the [Mobile Infrastructure Services] MIS task order. If the cloud is analogous to a utility, such as for electricity, and the MIS contractors role with respect to apps is not significant, as the agency argues, there is less potential that cloud deficiencies (in creation or function) might be manifested in the performance of the apps themselves. In other words, according to the agency, each enclave with the [Department of Veterans Affairs] VA MIS task order is analogous to an electrical outlet in a school building; it serves little to no purpose until someone plugs something into the socket, and it does not influence the quality/substance of the work performed utilizing the electricity. In this regard, the PWS requires the contractor to provide suitable connectivity to each of the enclaves. In this regard, the PWS sets forth three sections related to engineering work: (1) section 3.1.1--engineering and technical documentation support; (2) section 3.1.2--test and evaluation; and (3) section 3.1.3--quality engineering. The protester contends that all three sections of the PWS involve work that will create an impaired objectivity OCI for LMIS. FAR 9.505(a); Diversified Collection Servs., Inc., B-406958.3, B-406958.4, Jan. The concern in such impaired objectivity situations is that a firms ability to render impartial advice to the government will be undermined by its relationship to the product or service being evaluated. The agencys failure to obtain the ND/CI statement from its program manager in a timely fashion is--standing alone--a matter of concern.
The CO further noted that [t]he information received by IBM is raw financial data that IBM must consolidate into general financial ledgers for the Army. Here, based on the COs consideration of the allegation, coupled with the protesters failure to explain how the type of data available to IBM could give it a competitive advantage, we have no basis to conclude that the COs conclusion that IBM did not have an unequal access to information OCI was unreasonable. As discussed above, however, the agency considered this possibility and essentially concluded that IBM would not have the level of discretion implicit in the protesters argument, or the requisite decisionmaking authority to direct that changes be made. AR Tab 01, Contracting Officers Memorandum for Record on Organizational Conflict of Interest Identification and Evaluation for the Safety and Mission Assurance Support Services III, at 4. The potential for an impaired objectivity OCI, which principally concerns the contractors ability to perform its contractual obligations free of improper bias, arises where a contractor . Social Impact, Inc., B-412941, B-412941.2, July 8, 2016, 2016 CPD 203 at 5. Thus, the question presented here is whether the contracting officer reasonably assessed the OCI mitigation approach in Alphaports FPR. The advisor explained in response to the COs investigation that he was not aware until December 2014 that Leidos was a potential offeror for the AIE-3 procurement, and for that reason did not disclose his stock ownership prior to that time. The protester argues that Old SAICs access to this information likely resulted in Leidos having an unfair competitive advantage in pursuing the award under the revised RFP. With regard to the award to Leidos, the CO noted that at the time the revised solicitation was issued, New SAIC staff who provided support to the Army in connection with the AIE-3 procurement were separate from Leidos. The more significant the clouds contribution to the mobile app development process, the more likely that an evaluation of mobile apps could entail an evaluation of the role that the cloud and the cloud contractor played in app development. Rather, the agency asserts, the role of the MIS contractor is to separate the cloud platform into several enclaves for use by multiple apps developers. In the agencys view, each of the enclaves is a resource that can be used in the app development lifecycle, but does not influence the quality or nature of the app that is ultimately developed. For example, the MIS contractor will be responsible for establishing and monitoring connectivity between the cloud and the VAs intranet. The MIS contractor shall provide automated monitoring of the cloud, to ensure all aspects of the cloud and the enclaves are operating within service level agreements established by the PWS. Although the agency argues that the MIS contractor does not develop the cloud, see Agency Comments, Dec. The MIS contractor shall ensure that the delivered enclaves and environments provide the ability to conduct testing and [software quality assurance] for mobile applications developed inside the MAE. The MIS contractor shall provide Build Management support to include a team of Build Managers (Configuration Managers) that will fully manage and maintain the build management process for the entire lifecycle of web and mobile application development. The MIS PWS further requires the contractor to provide build management for the entire lifecycle of application development through to production of these applications working along with respective development teams using these enclaves and environments. Thus, while the PWS sometimes describes the requirement as support, see, e.g., MIS PWS 3.0, in other instances the MIS contractor is tasked with actual build management. Given the plain language of the MIS PWS, including the PWS requirements that the MIS contractor implement/deploy the cloud, and develop, implement and deploy the MAE, which is the critical cloud enclave in which mobile apps will be developed and tested, and given the requirement that the MIS contractor fully manage and maintain the build management process for the entire lifecycle of web and mobile application development, the VAs conclusion that the MIS contractor will have little or no role in developing the cloud, or in app development, is not supported by the MIS PWS. The record reflects that under task order 57, LMIS is responsible for modifying, enhancing, and integrating software for the DCGS. DRS argues that the PWS for the task order at issue here (referred to by the parties as the Field Office Fort Hood task order, or FOFH task order) identifies various engineering tasks, including testing and evaluation, that will necessarily require LMIS to review the work it performs under task order 57. In effect, the record shows that the agency made no affirmative effort to pursue and obtain information that the contracting officer now claims would have shed light on the question of whether or not it would be appropriate for the program manager to participate in acquisition-related activities on behalf of the agency given her relationship with STOP.
IBM could not reasonably expect to use the [FSPS] contract to increase its workload under the GFEBS sustainment contract, as the [FSPS] workload is the maintenance of the established system, and is not a development contract. In sum, the agency gave meaningful consideration to AFSs allegations, and we have no basis to conclude that the COs determination is unreasonable. (Accenture Federal Services, LLC B-414268.3, B-414268.4, B-414268.5: May 30, 2017) OCI Mitigation The RFP incorporated the clause at NASA FAR Supplement 1852.209-71, advising that the pending contract could result in impaired objectivity or unfair competitive advantage OCIs. The clause identified contracts that the SMASS III prime contractor would be ineligible to hold as a prime contractor or subcontractor, and also identified other contracts that could give rise to potential OCIs, one of which was the KLXS contract. Alphaports proposal acknowledged that the SMASS III services involved oversight and assessment of MEIs performance as the KLXS contractor and could present an impaired objectivity OCI. Alphaport proposed that it would mitigate that potential OCI by ensur[ing] that [MEI] will not fulfill any Safety and Mission Assurance positions supporting the ground systems development and operations program, to which MEI provides support as the KLXS contractor. In short, the contemporaneous record does not document an assessment of Alphaports OCI mitigation plan as required (and as the agencys own pre-RFP OCI assessment seemed to anticipate). Our Office has held that once an organizational conflict of interest is established, the protester is not required to demonstrate prejudice; rather, harm from the conflict is presumed to occur. Net Star-1 Govt Consulting, Inc., B-404025.2, May 4, 2011, 2011 CPD 262 at 8; Department of the Navy--Recon., B-286194.7, May 29, 2002, 2002 CPD 76 at 12; TDF Corp., B‑288392, B-288392.2, Oct. In reviewing protests that challenge an agencys conflict of interest determinations, our Office reviews the reasonableness of the determination; where an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether a conflict exists, we will not substitute our judgment for the agencys, absent clear evidence that the agencys conclusion is unreasonable. The protester argues that this advisors role in evaluating proposals for the revised solicitation was tainted because he held stock in Leidos during part of the evaluation. In essence, the protester argues that the agencys evaluation of the offerors proposals was tainted by the New SAIC employees ownership of Leidos stock, and that Leidos should therefore have been excluded from the competition. When New SAIC and Leidos became separate companies as a result of the reorganization of Old SAIC in September 2013, the advisor became an employee of New SAIC. As relevant here, the advisor was assigned to assist the Armys source selection evaluation board (SSEB) in its evaluation of proposals for the initial and revised AIE-3 solicitations. AR, Tab 36, OCI Report, at 3; Tab 35a, Advisor NDA (July 22, 2009); Tab 35b, Advisor NDA (Aug. E-Mail from the Contracting Officer to the Program Manager and Chairman of the Technical Evaluation Committee, Mar. This e-mail shows that, as early as March, the contracting officer concluded that the program manager should have been recused from the acquisition because of her former relationship with STOP.
As a result, we also sustain the protest on this basis. B-413731.2: Apr 3, 2017)The protester alleges that Metris has an unequal access to information OCI based upon Metriss employment of an individual who recently retired from the USCG. An unequal access to information OCI exists where a firm has access to nonpublic information as part of its performance of a government contract, and where that information may provide the firm an unfair competitive advantage in a later competition for a government contract. As discussed above, Old SAIC was issued a BPA to provide acquisition and program support for the Army in connection with its AIE requirements, including assistance with preparing the initial RFP for the AIE-3 contract. The contracting officer reached this conclusion before the RFQ was issued (but well after the program manager had engaged in extensive acquisition-related activities), but for reasons that are not explained in the record, the program manager was permitted by the contracting officer to continue her participation in acquisition-related activities.
As relevant here, an unequal access to information OCI exists where a firm has access to nonpublic information, and that information may provide the firm a competitive advantage in a competition for a government contract. The OCI mitigation arrangements in those protests do not materially differ from the arrangement here. The record reflects that the OCI plan establishes specific processes for identifying and containing information that could provide MSI with a competitive advantage in future procurements. that is relevant to the contract but is not available to all competitors, and such information would assist that contractor in obtaining the contract. Here, the agency determined, prior to issuing the RFQ for this procurement, that contractors or subcontractors performing acquisition support services for the government under the prior task order could potentially encounter OCIs for future acquisitions, such as the one at issue here. As a result, the agency ensured from the beginning of the acquisition process for this procurement that only government personnel worked on the acquisition. Specifically, the contracting officer explained that the agencys program manager handled all acquisition planning work for this procurement herself and did not allow contractors or subcontractors to participate in this procurement. The agency also ensured that only government personnel, and not contractor staff, were involved in the evaluation here. Further, the contracting officer reviewed a contract log for the previous task order, which identified every acquisition package on which Systek worked as a subcontractor. Further, the RFQ described the VAs acquisition processes and systems and incorporated VAAR clause 852.209-70, which required offerors provide a statement describing all facts concerning OCIs relating to the services to be provided under the solicitation. After analyzing the above information, including the VAs proactive attempt to mitigate any incumbency advantage, the CO concluded that no OCIs existed. Millennium maintains that there is nevertheless an OCI because Systek, as the incumbent [knows] of the future plans of [the program office] and they are able to propose an ERP system. However, the protester has failed to present any hard facts indicating that Systek was privy to specific, nonpublic, competitively useful information such as proprietary, sensitive, or source selection information that would create an OCI. 19, 2016, 2016 CPD 23 at 12; Signature Performance, Inc., B-411762, Oct. The existence of an incumbent advantage, in and of itself, does not constitute preferential treatment by the agency, nor is such a normally occurring advantage necessarily unfair. Guident Techs., Inc., B‑405112.3, June 4, 2012, 2012 CPD 166 at 7; see Axiom Res. This fact is fundamentally inconsistent with the express representation of the contracting officer to our Office that she first became concerned about the relationship between the program manager and STOP as a result of her review of STOPs initial letter of protest and the program managers ND/CI statement in August.
Track efforts to identify issues that reoccur, and report trend data. In considering whether IBM might have an unequal access OCI, the COs inquiry focused on the type of information available to IBM in the course of its FSPS performance. In our view, the situation here presents sufficiently hard facts to demonstrate the existence of, or potential for, an OCI. Upon discovering that Leidos was a potential offeror, the advisor disclosed his ownership of Leidos stock to the SSEB chair, and explained that he believed that the anticipated conversion of the Leidos stock would result in divestiture of any financial interest that would affect his role with the SSEB. In April 2015, the advisor became aware as result of a quarterly portfolio statement that he still held approximately ,000 in Leidos stock, and that this stock was not subject to the conversion described in the September 2014 notice. The SSEB chairperson advised the CO of the advisors stock ownership in April 2015. The CO found that the advisor had confirmed divestiture of the stock holdings, and that the advisors role was in the capacity of a technical advisor, not a decision maker. The CO concluded that, based on these facts and the fact that the award decision had not yet been made, there was no basis to exclude the advisor from assisting the SSEB or to otherwise cancel the procurement. In her subsequent OCI investigation in response to BAEs initial protest (B-411810), the CO acknowledged that the advisors ownership of Leidos stock during the time he assisted the SSEB created the appearance of a potential conflict: It is true that [the advisor] owned slightly more than the de minimus amount of stock in Leidos; therefore I have determined that the appearance of a personal financial conflict of interest exists in accordance with FAR 3.11, Preventing Personal Conflicts of Interest for Contractor Employees Performing Acquisition Functions. In this regard, the CO identified specific areas of the proposal that were changed as a result of BAEs challenge to the award to L-3, and why these changes altered the solicitation in a manner that avoided the possibility that Old SAICs role could have favored Leidos. On this record, we find no basis to sustain the protest. The CO also found that the New SAIC advisor (discussed above) was the only relevant employee who had access to offerors proposals. For this reason, the protester argues that the COs after-the-fact reliance on the NDAs did not address or mitigate the possibility that Leidos gained access to competitively useful nonpublic information as a result to Old SAICs access to information during the performance of its acquisition and program support BPA. See Axiom Resource Mgmt., Inc., B-298870.3, B-298870.4, July 12, 2007, 2007 CPD 117 at 7 n.3; Aetna Govt Health Plans, Inc., supra, at 13. Specifically, the CO concluded that the terms of the applicable NDAs prohibited the affected Old SAIC employees from disclosing nonpublic information that could have given other Old SAIC employees, and in turn Leidos employess, an unfair competitive advantage. The lengthy MIS PWS, however, imposes numerous requirements and responsibilities on the MIS contractor. As a general matter, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires that contracting officers avoid, neutralize or mitigate potential significant OCIs. An impaired objectivity OCI, as addressed in FAR subpart 9.5 and the decisions of our Office, arises where a firms ability to render impartial advice to the government would be undermined by the firms competing interests. We review the reasonableness of a COs OCI investigation and, where an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether a significant conflict of interest exists, we will not substitute our judgment for the agencys, absent clear evidence that the agencys conclusion is unreasonable. E‑Mail from the Contract Specialist to the Program Manager, Aug. There also is no explanation in the record concerning why the form was not obtained from the program manager in April when it was requested.Advance Med argues that although the solicitation expressly informed offerors of CMS's determination that an OCI existed where an offeror (or its affiliates) served both as a UPIC [unified program integrity contractor] and as a MMIS [Medicaid management information systems] contractor in the same geographic jurisdiction, the agency failed to meaningfully consider the conflict that arose here due to Safeguard's parent company's performance of MMIS contracts in four states in the southeast jurisdiction. Our Office reviews the reasonableness of a contracting officer's OCI investigation and, where an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether a significant conflict of interest exists, we will not substitute our judgment for the agency's, absent clear evidence that the agency's conclusion is unreasonable. The primary responsibility for determining whether a conflict is likely to arise, and the resulting appropriate action, rests with the contracting agency. In response, the agency pointed to an email in which CMS asked Safeguard to verify whether the Florida and Georgia Medicaid contracts support has changed, and Safeguard's response. In its responses to GAO's questions, the agency explained that performance by one entity as both an MMIS provider and as a UPIC is merely a perceived conflict and that the agency discussed this "perceived conflict" with Safeguard prior to the award of this task order, the award of the task order for the northeastern jurisdiction, and the award of the UPIC. First, the agency's characterization of these types of conflicts as merely presenting a "perceived conflict" is inconsistent with the clear language of the solicitation, which states that they present a conflict. Accordingly, since there is nothing in the record documenting that the agency meaningfully considered Safeguard's conflict, we conclude that the agency's actions here were not reasonable, and sustain this ground of protest. In this regard, the protester notes that when reviewing potential conflicts of interest arising from the role of individuals under FAR subpart 3.1, agencies have an obligation to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in government procurements. We do not agree with the protester, however, that the COs finding that there was an appearance of impropriety precluded further inquiry as to whether this conflict could be mitigated or avoided. AR, Tab 11, PWS, at 7 (testing activities will include operational functions necessary to determine acceptability). Guident Techs., Inc., B-405112.3, June 4, 2012, 2012 CPD 166 at 7. Once an agency has given meaningful consideration to whether an OCI exists, our Office will not sustain a protest challenging a determination in this area unless the determination is unreasonable or unsupported by the record. While the CO's memorandum included information from the offeror's proposal, internet and database searches, a conference call, and identified several potential OCIs that required "actions in order to avoid, neutralize or mitigate actual, apparent or potential [OCIs]," it did not include discussion of the MMIS-related contracts held by Safeguard's parent company. In this regard, the CO concluded that unless specifically identified, the CO did not identify any concerns "with the offeror's assessment of the [OCIs] associated with the contracts listed in the submission." Id. During the development of the protest, our Office requested that the agency provide additional information pertaining to its consideration of the alleged conflict, including any documentation of the conference call referenced in the CO's preaward OCI memorandum. However, nothing in the record shows the agency's consideration or analysis of this information. We find the agency's responses troubling for several reasons. Furthermore, the record supports the agencys determination that the testing at issue is focused on whether the various DCGS hardware and software components operate as a whole, not whether the specific software provided under task order 57 is functioning as intended.Impaired Objectivity AFS also argues that the PWS requirements described above create impaired objectivity OCIs because IBM would be required to evaluate its own work. An impaired objectivity OCI exists where a firms ability to render impartial advice to the government will be undermined by the firms competing interests, such as a relationship to the product or service being evaluated. Regarding the requirement for IBM to conduct an annual compliance review of source systems to determine whether they comply with Treasury and Office of the Secretary of Defense guidance, AFS contends that IBM could tailor its recommendations regarding GFEBS in such a way as to generate more work under the GFEBS task order, or to prevent a reduction of work. In addressing the protesters allegation, the CO considered the nature of the recommendations that could be reasonably made in the course of the compliance review contemplated by the PWS, as well as the process that would be needed for one of IBMs recommendations to become a requirement for a change in GFEBS. Ultimately, the CO concluded that this FSPS requirement did not create an OCI because the FSPS contract and the GFEBS task order are managed by different contracting officers and program managers; IBMs recommendations would be vetted by the government to determine whether they would result in proper implementation of guidance developed by Treasury and Office of the Secretary of Defense; and the ultimate decision to require a change to GFEBS in order to ensure compliance would be made by the government. Once again, we find that the CO gave meaningful consideration to the protesters allegation here, and we have no basis to conclude that the COs determination was unreasonable. NASAs pre-RFP assessment of potential OCI issues (drafted before the RFP was issued) specifically found that OCI considerations do not preclude the KLXS-II prime contractor from participating in the SMASS III procurement . Alphaports FPR identified MEIs role as the KLXS prime contractor, and likewise noted the potential for an OCI. More generally, the identification of conflicts of interest is a fact-specific inquiry that requires the exercise of considerable discretion. Depending on the facts and judgments present, the use of firewalled subcontractors may be reasonably assessed as a sufficient means to mitigate an impaired objectivity OCI. Our review of the contemporaneous record identified only a brief discussion by the evaluators of Alphaports approach to staffing the function that MEI supports under the KLXS contract, but even that discussion makes no specific reference to OCI mitigation. In September 2014, during his work supporting the SSEB, but before the receipt of proposals in December 2014, the advisor was notified that retirement stock holdings in Leidos were frozen (i.e., no transactions could be made), and would be converted to a Vanguard retirement fund that December. The COs conclusion in her OCI investigation that no unequal access to information OCI existed relied primarily on nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) signed by all contractor employees who were assigned to assist the agency in connection with the AIE-2 contract and the AIE-3 procurement. The CO also noted that, per the terms of the two solicitations, all offerors were required to enter into NDAs with Old SAIC, under RFP-0041, or New SAIC, under RFP-0056, and that these NDAs prohibited the disclosure or improper use of offeror or source selection sensitive information. According to the agency, the MIS PWS does not require the contractor to create or develop the cloud. The contractor must provide a Cloud Test Plan that describes how the cloud will comply with specific certification, security, functionality, availability, and performance requirements outlined for all enclaves and associated environments. Upon completion of the Cloud Acceptance Test, the contractor shall deliver a Cloud Implementation Plan outlining implementation and operations for the Cloud. After successful completion of the Cloud Acceptance Test, the contractor shall implement/deploy the Cloud and make [it] fully available for VA use. 10, 2015, at 8, the above PWS requirements indicate that the MIS contractor must implement/deploy the cloud, and develop, implement, and deploy cloud enclaves. Of particular relevance here, the MIS PWS requires the contractor to develop and implement the [Mobile Application Environment] MAE enclave; that enclave includes the six major logical environments to create, test, and deploy VA mobile applications. As part of that effort, the contractor is required to provide all source code for custom developed elements of the environment, and to deliver flexible, scalable processing, memory, and storage capacity necessary for the operation of each project/initiative environment in this enclave that provides a reconfigurable technical foundation. After successful completion of the Cloud Operational Acceptance test, the Contractor shall implement/deploy the enclaves associated environments. That effort includes providing all programming tools required for app development, testing, configuration control, and release to the production as applicable to each logical environment inside of each of the individual enclaves. The scope and significance of the MIS contractors role, as defined by the PWS, runs directly counter to the VAs characterization of the contractors contribution as mere ancillary support services. (ASM Research B-412187: Jan 7, 2016) (pdf)DRS contends that award to LMIS will result in an impaired objectivity OCI because LMIS will be required to review and test the work it performs under a task order issued by the Army pursuant to another IDIQ contract (referred to by the parties as task order 57). Notwithstanding the agencys failure to timely obtain the ND/CI statement from the program manager, the record shows that the contracting officer actually recognized early during the acquisition process--before the RFQ was issued--that there was a conflict arising out of the relationship between the program manager and STOP.AFSs other impaired objectivity OCI allegation flows from the requirement, set out above, for the FSPS contractor to generate reports from the source system, research abnormal balances found in the reports, perform a root cause determination, and make recommendations regarding the actions and time necessary to correct the abnormal balances. According to the protester, this would have the effect of requiring IBM to evaluate its own work in GFEBS, and would allow IBM to make recommendations that would generate more work for itself under the GFEBS [task order]. Once again, the agency considered the protesters allegation, and found that, as a practical matter, the protesters allegation misses the mark. See AR Tab 14.01, Mission Suitability Final Findings for Alphaport, at 10. The COs investigation of the advisors potential PCI primarily addressed his ownership of Leidos stock during the time he was assisting the SSEB with the competition under the revised RFP. At the time of the Old SAIC reorganization, individuals such as the advisor were informed that shares in Old SAIC would be converted to Leidos stock. In this connection, the record includes an e-mail from the contracting officer to the program manager and the chairman of the technical evaluation committee that states as follows: In addition, [the program manager] will have to recuse herself totally from the GPS solicitation process once the solicitation goes out.