Archives: Government Contracts & Grants

Subscribe to Government Contracts & Grants RSS Feed

GAO determines protestor is not an interested party and also filed an untimely protest

On April 14, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed a protest in the Matter of U.S. Marine Management, Inc. B-420468, finding the protest untimely because the protester filed it more than 10 days after it knew the basis for its grounds of protest and because the protester failed to demonstrate that was is an … Continue Reading

GAO sustains a protest because agency documentation fell short

On March 14, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest (B-420267.3, B-420267.4) filed by Starlight Corporation (Starlight), a small business based in Carlsbad, California, contesting the Air Force’s award of a contract to a competitor. In its protest, Starlight complained that the Air Force’s past performance evaluation was not in accordance with the … Continue Reading

GAO denies a protest as untimely, notwithstanding the Agency’s decision to answer additional questions after enhanced debriefing concluded

On March 7, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed a protest in the Matter of K&K Industries, Inc. B-420422; B-420422.2, finding the protest untimely because it had been filed more than ten days after enhanced debriefing concluded. This decision serves as another reminder that when it comes to bid protest litigation before the GAO … Continue Reading

FAR Council mandates more domestic content in Buy American Act revision

75% domestic requirement takes effect in 2029 On March 7, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a final rule changing the “Buy American” requirements for federal contractors. The final rule is very similar to the proposed rule published in July 2021 and it materially changes the regulations at FAR Part 25, which implements the … Continue Reading

GAO sustains protest because of material key personnel misrepresentations and disparate treatment during proposal evaluation

Late last year, on December 20, 2021, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), sustained a protest in the Matter of Insight Technology Solutions, Inc. B-420133.2, B-420133.3, B-420133.4 when it found that the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Agency) unreasonably and disparately evaluated the Awardee’s proposal to provide information technology (IT) support services … Continue Reading

Federal agencies must update cybersecurity controls to achieve a zero trust architecture

On January 26, 2022, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published Memorandum M-22-09, “Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles” (the ZTA Memorandum), which requires federal agencies to take a hard look at their cybersecurity controls, and invest in and implement new measures to better protect the government’s networks, systems, and … Continue Reading

Protest sustained because offeror with actual knowledge failed to notify agency of a key employee’s unavailability

On November 4, 2021, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest in the matter of Ashlin Management Group, Inc., B-419472.3; B-419472.4. Ashlin protested the issuance of an order to Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. (BAH) under the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration’s request for quotations for consulting services connected to the department’s Job … Continue Reading

DOJ announces Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative with significant implications for government contractors

Consistent with the Biden Administration’s keen focus on improving the nation’s cybersecurity, as articulated in Executive Order 14028 and discussed in greater detail here, the Department of Justice (DOJ) formally announced the launch of its new Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative (Initiative) on October 6, 2021. The Initiative will “combine the department’s expertise in civil fraud enforcement, … Continue Reading

Protest sustained because agency evaluation lacked sufficient detail for its disparate conclusions

On September 14, 2021, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a decision in the matter of Marquis Solutions, LLC B-419891, B-419891.2, sustaining a protest. The GAO determined that the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) source selection decision was unreasonable, lacked a meaningful evaluation, and was inconsistent with the terms of its solicitation and applicable statutes … Continue Reading

Protest sustained because tradeoff decision was not sufficiently documented

When it comes to adjectival ratings assigned to proposals during a source selection, a very recent protest decision serves as a reminder that contracting agencies must document with specificity why they are selecting one offeror over another when both have been assigned identical adjectival ratings. In other words, when offerors receive identical adjectival ratings and … Continue Reading

Context counts when it comes to proposal evaluations

When it comes to proposal evaluation, a recent decision serves as a stark reminder that an agency must consider the plain language of an offeror’s quote in the context of the entire quote or risk having its evaluation decision deemed to be unreasonable. Mayvin, Inc. (Mayvin) filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) … Continue Reading

Pre-award protest sustained after agency releases contractor’s proprietary information

On February 10, 2021 Inmarsat Government Inc. (Inmarsat) filed a protest, which the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained in part on May 21, 2021. See Inmarsat Government, Inc., B-419583; B-419583.2, May 21, 2021, 2021 CPD ¶ 215 at 1. Specifically, the GAO found that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) failed to sufficiently mitigate the … Continue Reading

Pre-award protest sustained due to regulatory violations and ambiguity

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 … Continue Reading

Reiterating well-established principles, GAO dismisses Protester’s cost realism argument and denies Protester’s unequal discussions arguments

On April 2, 2021 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a decision in the matter of Trademasters Service, Inc. dismissing in part and denying in part a protest that challenged the General Services Administration’s (GSA) establishment of a facilities maintenance and management Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). See Trademasters Service, Inc. B-418522.2 et al., April 2, … Continue Reading

Proposal expirations can be costly in the procurement context

On March 26, 2021 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a decision in the matter of Cydecor, Inc. B-418165.5, denying a protest that challenged the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) decision to exclude the protester’s expired proposal from the competition. The GAO based its decision on the fact that the agency record showed that the … Continue Reading

Tracking federal agencies’ re-opening plans for government contractors

After months of federal agency closures, and a wide expansion of teleworking and other remote work policies crafted in response to the novel coronavirus, the federal government is planning for a phased re-opening.[1] This post was most recently updated on June 26, 2020, and it includes updates to the following agency plans: Department of Defense, … Continue Reading

Contractor successfully uses GAO pre-award protest to modify solicitation

When the terms of a solicitation run contrary to the regulations, challenging the solicitation in a pre-award protest may provide contractors the chance to shift the tide in their favor before bids are submitted and an award is made. In January 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a pre-award bid protest brought by Noble … Continue Reading

Riding the cybersecurity compliance wave: How defense contractors can navigate the rising tide of cybersecurity regulations

Cybersecurity attacks targeting government information have drastically increased, and both the federal government and private industry have struggled to implement effective means of protecting this information. Federal agencies continue to strive for a unified approach to protect critical data; however, the various regulations leave contractors without a clear set of requirements that are applicable to … Continue Reading

Legal Fees Spent Successfully Defending Qui Tam Whistleblower Claims May Be Recoverable Even Under Fixed-Price Contracts

As a lawyer who regularly defends qui tam suits brought against government contractors under the False Claims Act (FCA), a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in The Tolliver Grp. Inc. v. United States, Fed. Cl., No. 17-1763C (J. Lettow 10/26/18) prompted me to remind federal government contractors defending civil qui tam … Continue Reading

Government Contracts M&A Moving at Breakneck Speed: Contractors Advised to Slow Down and Ensure Compliance

The pace at which government contractors are engaging in mergers & acquisitions has increased notably in recent years, as a stream of recent stories in the Washington Post and New York Times have reported. The acquisition of a government contractor frequently provides the buyer an opportunity to increase its market share and/or strengthen its capabilities … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces Increase to Minimum Wage for Government Contractors

Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage for federal contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 will increase to $10.35 per hour. The current minimum wage under Executive Order 13658 is $10.20 per hour. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor posted notice of the … Continue Reading

Proposed Internet of Things Cybersecurity Bill May Create Hurdles for Government Contractors

The federal government dramatically has increased its spending in recent years on Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices, including biosensors that can gather medical and security data from soldiers and vehicles in the field; smart-building applications that reduce energy (such as desks that automatically power on when an employee scans his or her identification badge upon … Continue Reading

Senate’s Bid Protest Reforms a Step Backwards for Transparency

On July 10, 2017, the U.S. Senate placed the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on its Legislative Calendar. This action means the historically must-pass legislation is now ready for amendment and debate. Just as it did last year, the Senate Armed Services Committee (“SASC”) has included two provisions focused on bid protest reform.  Given … Continue Reading

What a New ‘Space Corps’ Military Branch Could Mean for Government Contractors

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees recently completed their respective markups of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House version requires the Pentagon to establish the “U.S. Space Corps” – the first new military branch in 70 years – by January 1, 2019. The proposed Space Corps would fall under the secretary … Continue Reading
LexBlog