On June 28, the department awarded the sole-source noncompetitive contract to the Reston, Va.-based BulletinNews, which describes itself as “a quiet leader in delivering customized business and political intelligence each day to over one million professional, corporate and government decision makers.”

The JOFOC document WND located explained that “given the time constraints and the threat of a break in service,” the State Department was unable to conduct a market survey of other potential providers. It failed to explain, however, why it did not carry out a market survey prior to the June 8 expiration of its last contract with the company. (The partly redacted award document said that the last contract — #SAQMPD06C0027 — awarded to Bulletin News had been slated to expire June 8; however, after conducting multiple database searches under that specific award number as well as using various keyword-specific searches, no record of a contract award was found.)

Instead, the State Department waited until June 25 to release a “Sources Sought” notice to potential providers.