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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Novation Disaster: SBIR Phase III Award Stripped by GAO

Contractors interested in acquiring participants in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program beware: successfully novating SBIR contracts has been made significantly harder by a recent GAO decision. Worse still, SBIR novation mistakes can jeopardize future awards under the SBIR contract vehicles. Tread lightly.

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Email Isn’t Instant: GAO Dismisses Case Where Proposal was Four Minutes Late

By 2020, most of us have gotten used to almost immediate means of digital communication. We expect emails to reach their destination at lightning-fast speeds—but this isn’t always the case. Relying on this expectation can have devastating effects, as it did for a protester in one recent GAO case.

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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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GAO: Proposal Evaluations Can’t Take Place in La La Land

Wouldn’t it be swell to simply erase those less-than-flattering moments from your past merely by deleting them? For instance, what if your biographer simply omitted any mention of you being excited for and seeing the apparently horrible new Cats movie? Does erasing a historical fact–such as an unfavorable detail from a proposal–mean that it never happened?

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Agency Should Have Investigated Proposal Contradictions, Says GAO

Preparing a proposal for a federal procurement is an involved process. On top of the extensive drafting and estimating work, proposals often require supporting documentation like licenses or certifications. But what happens when a proposal and its supporting documentation contradict one another? As one contractor learned the hard way, this contradiction can have disastrous consequences.

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GAO Sustains Protest Where Contract Modification Fell Outside the Contract’s Scope

GAO protests typically address issues that occur before contract award. For example, GAO will review a solicitation’s terms. It will also review an agency’s evaluation of proposals submitted in connection with a solicitation. But as a general rule, GAO won’t insert itself into disputes arising after award, which fall under the contract administration umbrella. But there is an exception–and an important one . . . one that all federal contractors should be aware of.

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