No Award for Proposal Lacking Required Letter of Commitment, Says GAO

GAO recently sustained a challenge to an agency’s award decision where the awardee failed to provide a required letter of commitment for an individual proposed for a key personnel position. GAO said that the awardee failed to satisfy a material solicitation requirement, making the agency’s award improper.

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GAO Sustains Challenge Based on Misrepresentation of Incumbent Staff Availability

It’s generally a pretty high bar to argue the ol’ “bait and switch” concerning what personnel will actually perform a contract. But specifically naming a crucial employee of the incumbent in your proposal—without ever talking to that employee about working on the new contract—can meet the bar in a GAO protest.

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New Avenue for SBA Protests: Ostensible Subcontractor Status Protests

SBA has issued a final rule, effective December 30, that will now provide an avenue to protest situations where the prime contractor on a SDVOSB, HUBZone, or WOSB set-aside contract is subcontracting most or all of the work to a non-similarly situated—but still small business—concern. It will also allow SBA to review eligibility for 8(a) Program contracts on this ground as well.

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SBA Proposes to Remove the “Three” from the “Three-In-Two” Rule for Joint Ventures

The SBA recently proposed a rule that would amend the infamous three-in-two (AKA 3-in-2) rule for joint ventures. SBA’s current regulations provide that a joint venture can be awarded no more than three contracts over a two-year period. While SBA plans to keep the two-year lifespan for joint venture awards, it plans to get rid of the three contract maximum.

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GSA Releases IT Security and Authentication Solutions for Federal Agencies

GSA released a Draft Identity, Credentialing, and Access Management (ICAM) Solutions Catalog in response to an Executive Order and a new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy. These ICAM Solutions will assist federal agencies in managing and monitoring user access to information systems in order to ensure secure operations and could change security and authentication procedures for federal contractors. From the President on down, cybersecurity, including authentication, is a pressing concern for all federal contractors.

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COFC Rejects Agency’s Basis for Default Termination

The Court of Federal Claims recently reversed an agency’s default termination of a contractor that had experienced numerous performance issues and delays. The agency claimed that performance was “incurably behind schedule,” despite the contractor’s proposed recovery schedule. The court held that the agency lacked a reasonable belief that the contract could not be timely completed.

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OHA Lacks Jurisdiction for NAICS Appeal of GPO Procurement on VA’s Behalf

OHA recently confirmed that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a NAICS code appeal regarding a GPO procurement, even though that procurement was conducted on behalf on the VA. OHA’s dismissal was based on the fact that GPO, a legislative branch agency, is not subject to the same rules as the executive agencies.

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