GAO Rules on GSA Schedule Contracts: Size Usually Stays, 8(a) Status Doesn’t

Does 8(a) status remain in place for the duration of GSA Schedule contracts? GAO says no.

In MIRACORP, Inc., B-416917 (Comp. Gen. Jan. 2, 2019), the incumbent contractor for administrative support services sought by the Department of Energy, protested the Department’s evaluation and award of a delivery order to RiVidium, Inc., an 8(a) small business. GAO dismissed the protest, saying that the protester–which had graduated from the 8(a) program–lacked standing because it wasn’t eligible for the 8(a) set-aside order.

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Agency May Request SDVOSB Recertification on MATOC Orders, Says GAO

In a recent decision, GAO determined an agency could reasonably amend a solicitation for a task order issued under a set-side base contract to require offerors to recertify their size and SDVOSB status at the task order level.

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GAO Dismisses Protest Where Proposal was Unacceptable

In a protest before GAO, prejudice is an essential element. Even if GAO might agree that an agency’s action was improper, it will not sustain a protest where the protester would not have received the award anyway.

That’s what happened in the protest of Benaka Inc., B-416836 et al. (Dec. 16, 2018).

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GAO Sustains Protest Where Agency Failed to Reasonably Evaluate Past Performance

GAO defers to agencies on many issues related to their procurements. But GAO will intervene when an agency says one thing, in a solicitation, but does another when it evaluates proposals. In other words, GAO will sustain protests when the agencies disregard their own evaluation criteria outlined in a solicitation.

Otherwise, the agency might–even inadvertently–evaluate proposals unequally–a situation that a just and fair procurement system must avoid. 

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BPA Awardees Cannot Challenge Fellow Awardees, GAO Says

To file a viable bid protest at GAO, the protester must be an “interested party.” Intuition might say that an awardee under a multiple-award vehicle like a blanket purchase agreement should be able to protest other awardees, right?

The GAO recently held otherwise.

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