It’s Not Up to Agency to Clarify Layout and Printing Errors in Proposals, Says GAO

It is well understood that offerors must submit proposals that meet the procuring agency’s requirements, including any page limitations set by the solicitation. But what if an offeror’s proposal contains an obvious layout and printing error that inadvertently puts required information outside the established page limits? Does the agency have a duty to seek clarifications or allow corrections? GAO says no.

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Federal Circuit Interprets the FAR’s Trade Agreement Act Clause

It’s relatively rare for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (an intermediate federal appeals court immediately below the Supreme Court) to weigh in on the Trade Agreements Act, as it applies to federal government contracts. So, when we saw the Federal Circuit’s recent decision on the issue, we had just one thought: this has to make the blog. So, here it is.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 17 – February 21, 2020

Here at SmallGovCon HQ, we’re trying to withstand these last few weeks of winter as we hold out for spring. But in the mean time, our attorney authors will be speaking at some upcoming events. Matthew Schoonover will outline Developments in Small Business Contracting at a PubK Webinar on February 26 and also present on Size & Affiliation Issues for a Maryland PTAC Webinar on February 27.

In federal contracting news, there are some interesting highlights. Among them are reactions from contractors to the beta.sam.gov portal, changes in agency priorities in the 2021 budget, and a new adaptive acquisition framework for defense agencies.

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Protester Missed Its Chance to Protest Corrective Action Scope, Says GAO

As we’ve previously discussed at SmallGovCon, a substantial number of GAO bid protests are resolved through voluntary corrective action. While corrective action is typically a desirable outcome for a bid protest, it by no means affords a protester the opportunity to relax. Indeed, as one offeror recently discovered, the failure to diligently protest the scope of a corrective action barred raising certain challenges later on.

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It’s Tough to Challenge a Corrective Action

For a protester, a corrective action from the agency is a win. It gives the protester another bite at the apple to possibly win a contract award. But for the initial awardee, a corrective action has some unfortunate consequences, the dreaded double whammy. Besides the obvious–losing the award–the former awardee’s price is usually revealed to the other competitors. Could this give the competitors a leg up when proposals are resubmitted as part of the corrective action? Yes. Does this amount to a flaw in the corrective action such that GAO will sustain a protest over it? Not likely.

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5 Things You Should Know: CMMC

CMMC has been a hot topic for federal government contractors of late, for good reason: once CMMC is rolled out, contractors under a particular Defense Department procurement must meet the applicable cybersecurity level, or they’ll be considered ineligible.

But in case you’re still wondering what CMMC is and why it matters, let’s take a closer look. Here are five things you should know about the Department of Defense’s new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (“CMMC”).

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