DisputeSoft was engaged as a consulting and testifying expert in August 2004 by the petitioner in the matter of EDS Information Services, LLC v. Office of Information Technology Services and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and ACS State Healthcare, LLC, a state bid protest brought before the Office of Administrative Hearings of North Carolina, Wake County. The dispute related to a contract award for a Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS), and whether the cost proposals conformed to bid requirements.
In September 2003, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) submitted a request for proposal (RFP) to replace the state’s current MMIS. DHHS received proposals from three bidders: EDS Information Services, LLC (EDS), ACS State Healthcare, LLC (ACS), and Unisys Corporation (Unisys). As part of the RFP’s requirements, the MMIS replacement system had to be a “3-tier” or “N-tier” application, meaning that the architecture had to have a separation between the user interface, business rules, and data access code to allow for “simple, straightforward additions to each of the three tiers without undue impacts on the others.”
Following DHHS’s initial review of the bidder’s proposals in February 2004, EDS, ACS, and Unisys were permitted oral presentations to clarify points made in their proposals. As required by the RFP, DHHS was to tape record the oral presentations and complete follow up written reports discussing any proposal clarifications made by the bidders. However, no such recordings or written reports were made.
In DHHS’s February 11, 2004 initial review report, the State indicated that two of ACS’s tiers were not compliant with the 3-tier architecture requirement, and the design of the third component was unclear. However, following ACS’s oral presentation, the State’s March 3, 2004 final report indicated that information provided by ACS during its oral presentation led the State to conclude that the core system component utilized an N-tier architecture. The remaining two components of ACS’s proposed solution were still found by the State to follow a 2-tier design.