I Fought the Law, and the Law Won? Standing Issues Prevent Claim of Agency’s Rulebreaking

As we discussed in July 2017, Timberline Helicopters, Inc. has been involved in ongoing litigation regarding the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management’s (a.k.a. “BLM”) procurement of helicopter flight services to aid in fire-fighting and fire-suppression missions, services essential now more than ever.

Most recently, in Timberline Helicopters, Inc. v. United States, No. 18-1474C (Fed. Cl. Nov. 14, 2018), the Court of Federal Claims held that Timberline no longer had standing to bring its claims.

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Who’s the Ombudsman? Proposed FAR Rule Requires Clarity

When GAO lacks jurisdiction to hear a protest over a task or delivery order, contractors have the right to complain to an ombudsman. Implementation of the ombudsman right, however, has been haphazard at best.

Last week, the DoD, GSA, and NASA–the entities comprising the FAR Council–proposed a rule to help alleviate this issue for IDIQ contracts.

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GAO: VA’s Compliance Oversight of Subcontracting Limitations Needs Improvement

Recently, the GAO issued a report discussing the VA’s Veterans First Program, made at the request of several members of Congress. The report focused on addressing ongoing implementation challenges regarding compliance with the Rule of Two following the Kingdomware decision.

One of the key challenges facing the VA is ensuring that SDVOSBs comply with the limitations on subcontracting. According to the GAO, the VA’s oversight needs improvement.

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5 Things You Should Know: Disaster Relief Federal Government Contracting

The 2018 Hurricane Season is now in full swing and the damage cost totals continue to rise for our friends on the East Coast. Disasters, like hurricanes, often arise quickly and without much warning, requiring quick responses from the Government and government contractors.

If your small business has been impacted by a natural disaster, or is interested in participating in the rebuilding and relief efforts that follow cataclysmic events by acquiring government contracts, here are five things you should know.

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When You Assume: Proposals Don’t Automatically Include “Industry Standards”

When preparing a proposal for a Government solicitation, ensuring that your product or service meets all of the requirements specified by the Government’s solicitation is essential. Simple enough, right?

Not necessarily. One of the most frequent pitfalls in proposal preparation is assuming the Government understands your products and industry as well as you do, which may not be the case.  A recent GAO bid protest demonstrates that a “well-written proposal” sometimes must include information that a contractor might expect the Government evaluation team ought to know.

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GAO Puts Substance Over Form in Past Performance Protest

Recently, GAO sustained a bid protest where an agency “unreasonably excluded” a joint venture’s proposal, which included all necessary information listed in the solicitation, from competition.

GAO held that it was unreasonable for the agency to exclude the joint venture merely because the joint venture’s proposal didn’t include a subcontract number for one of its past performance references. GAO held, in essence, that the missing information was irrelevant because it had no bearing on the type of work completed.

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