Some federal agencies have cited a 30-day “cybersecurity sprint” launched in June 2015 to justify noncompetitive information technology contracts they have awarded, Nextgov reported Wednesday.
Aliya Sternstein writes the Office of Management and Budget introduced the cyber exercise in order for agencies to address software vulnerabilities, adopt two-factor authentication and strengthen access controls following the data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management.
The departments of Labor, Homeland Security, Interior and Health and Human Services are among the federal agencies that have awarded such sole-source contracts beyond the period of the cyber sprint, which concluded in July 2015.
Agencies cited lack of time to assess proposals and that only one contractor could address their IT needs that the cyber exercise requires as reasons for skipping competition and extending deals with existing suppliers through bridge contracts, Sternstein reports.
“I think it’s a hard argument to make because I don’t see any direction from OMB that you must get contracts in place to address the Cybersecurity Sprint initiative within, like, a couple of weeks,” Rob Burton, a federal procurement attorney at law firm Venable LLP, told Nextgov.