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Department of Homeland Security Elaborates on its Anticipated Request for Border-Wall “Prototypes”

Last week, we reported that the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had published a presolicitation notice announcing its intent to issue a solicitation “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”  On Friday, March 3, CBP amended that notice “to provide additional information to interested bidders” and address “a revision in strategy.”  The revised solicitation includes several significant changes that will be of interest to contractors and other observers.    

To begin, the amended notice provides more information about the actual requirements that CBP anticipates including in the solicitation.  According to the notice, CBP expects to request a design for a concrete structure, approximately thirty feet in height, which “will meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage.”

The amended notice now explicitly invokes the “Two Phase Design Build Procedures” under FAR 36.3.  It also provides a revised timeline for the procurement allowing more time, for proposal preparation and evaluation:

  • On or about March 8, 2017: solicitation anticipated to issue

  • March 20, 2017: “vendors to submit a concept paper of their prototype which will result in the evaluation and down select of offerors”

  • On or about May 3, 2017: “down select of phase 1 offerors to submit proposals in response to the full RFP, including pricing”

Consistent with the original notice, the amendment states that CBP will likely issue multiple award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contracts and provide options for additional miles of wall.

Indeed, the notice now explains that, although the procurement will “provide some initial construction of some wall segments,” it “is not intended as the vehicle for the procurement of the total wall solution for the border with Mexico,” perhaps in part because funding for the entire project has not yet been appropriated.  This statement signals that another solicitation will likely follow the one announced last week.

A number of questions raised in our previous post remain, and will hopefully be answered in the next few days in the full solicitation.  Observers also should keep watch for a subsequent solicitation at some point in the future that will address the completion of the border wall.

© 2019 Covington & Burling LLP

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About this Author

Jennifer Plitsch, Litigation attorney, Covington
Partner

Jennifer Plitsch is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts practice group where her practice includes a wide range of contracting issues for large and small businesses in both defense and civilian contracting. Her practice involves advising clients on contract proposal, performance, and compliance questions as well as litigation, transactional and legislative issues. She has particular expertise in advising clients on intellectual property and data rights issues under the Federal Acquisition Regulations and Bayh-Dole Act, and has significant experience in...

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Kayleigh Scalzo, Covington, Litigation attorney
Associate

Kayleigh Scalzo represents clients in a broad array of high- stakes litigation matters with the government and other private parties. She litigates bid protests at the Government Accountability Office, Court of Federal Claims, state courts, and before federal and state agencies. Ms. Scalzo also litigates Administrative Procedure Act cases and other civil matters in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts.

Kayleigh Scalzo represents clients in a broad array of high- stakes litigation matters with the government and other private parties. She litigates bid protests at the Government Accountability Office, Court of Federal Claims, state courts, and before federal and state agencies. Ms. Scalzo also litigates Administrative Procedure Act cases and other civil matters in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts.

202-662-5133
Andrew Guy, regulatory and public policy lawyer, Covington
Associate

Andrew Guy is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. He is a member of the Government Contracts practice group.

Mr. Guy advises clients across a broad range of government contracting issues, including advising clients in transactional matters involving government contractors and assisting contractors in bid protests and civil litigation.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Guy clerked for the Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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