On September 18, 2017 insideARM reported that Chief Judge Susan Braden had issued an order directing the Department of Education (ED) to file a status report on the RFT for Private Collection Agency Services (PCA) by October 5. As reported last week, that date came and went with no report filed. On October 11, Judge Braden set a new deadline of today, October 20.
This time, ED made it... sort of.
Late yesterday afternoon ED filed a status report that basically says, "we are working on it." You can read the report (essentially one page) here. It is largely a cut-and-paste from previous updates.
The report recaps that since its September 14, 2017 status report ED had been in the process of finalizing evaluation reports based on new evaluation criteria, and then expected the Source Selection Authority to "perform an integrated assessment to identify the proposal(s) deemed to be most advantageous to the Government, followed by a determination of each apparently successful offeror. Once a new source selection determination has been made, ED will announce any new award or awards, and/or the termination of previously-awarded contracts, as appropriate."
The new information is that the evaluation reports have indeed been finalized, and the Source Selection Authority is in the process of conducting its assessment.
No estimated date for a next step is provided.
This is a little like seeing a junior high school argument play out in slow motion, in writing, with a lot left unsaid. ED concluded its update with this:
"As stated in our August 4, 2017, August 24, 2017 and September 14, 2017 status reports, this corrective action is a top priority of Federal Student Aid, and ED is working diligently to complete the corrective action."
The prior update included "Defendant respectfully requests that it be allowed to file a status report on..." This latest update includes no such respectful request.
One can only imagine Judge Braden's response. Where to now? Will she set another new date? Order ED to show up in court and provide more specifics?
One also can only imagine the pressure that must be felt by the team at ED. They've got to get this round right.
Meanwhile, because of the judge's May 31, 2017 injunction, accounts entering default continue to sit.
Editor’s Note: See here for a link to an insideARM page that provides a history of our ED-related articles. The page is automatically updated as new stories are written.