The U.S. Air Force may have opened itself up to protests and litigation over its decision to cancel its Enterprise Cyber Capabilities, or EC2, procurement for cybersecurity and cyberwarfare support services. The agency stated that the 250-plus proposals received would result in “far more prime contracts than the program and its supporting workforce can properly administer.” Although government agencies have the right to cancel solicitations for various reasons, the reason for EC2’s cancelation is relatively unheard of and may spur businesses that incurred significant expenses preparing their bids to consider if they have any recourse.
Alex Major commented on the decision, noting that the Air Force is also likely to be more thorough in its pre-solicitation outreach to industry and market research, and more circumspect in setting the scope of those contracts or instead deciding to use existing contract vehicle. “I get the sense that they may not have understood that there are going to be dozens of providers that provide cyber operations, that there are going to be dozens of providers that provide for cybersecurity, for cyber planning, for cyber analysis, for full-spectrum testing … There’s been a boom in that field,” Major said.
“I think they are probably just going to go back and figure out how to eat this in smaller bites,” he added. “Trying to contract out through [an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract] the entire spectrum of cyberwarfare wasn’t a solid plan on the part of the Air Force.”