On April 26, 2021 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a decision in the matter of Innovate Now, LLC. B-419546, Apr, 26, 2021 sustaining a pre-award protest challenging the solicitation terms of a cost-plus-fixed-fee type task order. Specifically, GAO sustained the protest on two grounds finding:
- the Air Force’s requirement that protégé members of a mentor-protégé joint venture have the same experience level as other offerors violates an express prohibition contained in the Small Business Administration (SBA) regulation; and
- the Air Force’s requirement that offerors demonstrate the staffing used on a prior contract at “a single point in time” is ambiguous when the solicitation fails to define the “single point in time” requirement.
The protester also argued that the Air Force’s requirement for each joint venture member to submit at least one work sample that has been performed on a cost-reimbursement basis was unduly restrictive. The GAO dismissed this argument as premature.