Archives: Government Contracts & Grants

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GAO dismisses post-award protest because protester is not an interested Party

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently dismissed a protest challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s evaluation of the Protester’s proposal and subsequent discussions with the Protester. The GAO found that the Protester’s arguments did not demonstrate that it was next in line for award, rendering the Protester a disinterested party with no standing to … Continue Reading

GAO Sustains Post-Award Protest Challenging The Navy’s Unreasonable Interpretation Of Its Own Solicitation Criteria

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently sustained a protest challenging the Department of the Navy’s (“Navy”) evaluation of the awardee’s proposed professional employee compensation plan, which was based on a flawed interpretation of the term “professional employee” in the Solicitation. This decision serves as a reminder that the GAO will interpret provisions, clauses, statutes, … Continue Reading

GAO sustains pre-award protest challenging a solicitation as unduly restrictive.

In a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision, the watchdog sustained a pre-award protest filed by an offeror alleging that the government’s solicitation requirements associated with certain certifications were unduly restrictive of competition. This decision is a reminder that an agency will not withstand a protest of its solicitation terms when it does not … Continue Reading

GAO dismisses pre-award bid protest as untimely

On April 25, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) dismissed a protest that Defense Solutions Group, LLC (“DSG”) had filed which challenged the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (“Agency” or “DISA”) decision to exclude DSG’s proposal from the competition. DSG argued that its exclusion from the competition for non-compliance with two administrative solicitation requirements was unreasonable. … Continue Reading

GAO sustains protest where agency fails to establish a competitive range and engages in unequal discussions only with the awardee

On April 25, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest filed by Rice Solutions LLC, challenging the award of a Department of Health and Human Services Indian Health Service (IHS) contract to SOPOR LLC. Rice Solutions alleged that IHS improperly engaged in discussions with only SOPOR, and not the other offerors, as required … Continue Reading

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
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