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DHS PACTS III: Errors, Ambiguities, and Protest Possibilities

In this ongoing series based on a recent webinar conducted by rTurner Consultant on DHS PACTS III, we dive into the complexities of DHS's PACTS III procurement, highlighting possible errors, Ambiguities, and Possibilities for a protest that could affect your bidding strategy.


Key Concerns:

  1. Joint Venture Eligibility for Subcontractor Past Performance: One notable issue is how the PACT III RFP treats joint ventures versus small businesses. It seems that joint ventures can't use their subcontractors' past performance to strengthen their bids, while small businesses enjoy this advantage. Federal regulations state that all team members' experience matters, including subcontractors, for small businesses. So, why not for joint ventures? This inconsistency puts joint ventures at a disadvantage, and challenging it through a protest might be worthwhile.
  2. Unfair Bonus Points for Team Composition: The scoring system for bonus points adds another layer of complexity. The RFP assumes that companies bidding solo won't utilize teams for task orders, causing them to miss out on points for consistent team composition. But in reality, companies often collaborate flexibly throughout contracts, and the RFP even allows them to bring in new subcontractors later. This unrealistic assumption about solo bidders is misleading. Protesting this unfair bonus system could level the playing field and ensure equal opportunities for all.
  3. NAICS Code Misinterpretation and Its Impact: NAICS codes, those seemingly innocuous strings of numbers, can become a headache in the PACT III procurement process. The RFP mandates that they must perfectly match the project scope. But what if your experience falls under a different NAICS code that still aligns with the job description? The RFP might unfairly exclude you. This strict interpretation goes against the purpose of these codes, which is to identify the primary purpose of the work rather than focusing solely on exact matches. This discrepancy between the rules' spirit and the government's rigid view is another potential point for protest.


  • Seek advice from experienced procurement attorneys before initiating a protest to assess its viability and potential outcomes.
  • Thoroughly evaluate your case to ensure strong grounds for protest.


Filing a protest is a significant decision. Use these insights to make informed choices and navigate the PACTS III bidding process strategically.

Stay tuned for further articles exploring PACTS III challenges and strategies. Navigating these issues, confusions, and protest options requires a solid grasp of procurement regulations and strategic foresight. Contractors must stay vigilant in identifying and addressing discrepancies to minimize risks and maximize their competitive advantage! And if you need assistance navigating the PACTS III landscape, reach out to us today – we're here to support your journey!

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