GAO: VA Rule of Two Doesn’t Apply if Pricing Isn’t Reasonable

GAO recently gave its blessing to a VA decision not to follow the Rule of Two, despite knowing several SDVOSBs would bid. The VA’s decision was based on the contracting officer’s opinion that prices would not be fair and reasonable based on an evaluation of prices and market research. The decision is important for providing some clarification on what research a contracting officer must undertake to establish that prices will not be fair and reasonable for purposes of the Rule of Two.

Continue reading

GAO: We’re Not Wrong, But Our Original Recommendation Was Not Right

Whenever GAO issues a bid protest decision, some parties are happier than others. In limited circumstances, however, an unhappy party may petition GAO to reconsider its decision if the outcome was based on errors of either fact or law. It is extremely rare for GAO to reverse itself during a reconsideration request. That may explain why in a recent reconsideration decision, GAO maintains that its decision was correct based on the facts presented to it, but GAO nevertheless modified its recommendations substantially in the face of new facts. As a kicker, GAO also took away its recommendation that the agency pay protester’s attorney fees.

Continue reading

Plan Ahead to Prevent Proposal Submission Issues, Says GAO

When submitting bids, contractors should always double check their proposal submission methods, whether it be a designated portal, email, or any other method, and do so well before the deadline. GAO recently had the opportunity to examine proposal submission issues related to a US Navy procurement, and did not show sympathy for the contractor who experienced proposal submission issues right at the deadline.

Continue reading

GAO to Agency: Offerors are More than Just a CPARS-Generated Rating Percentage

GAO recently sustained protest to an agency’s FAR Part 13 procurement that relied exclusively on CPARS-generated assessment chart rating percentages to evaluate vendors’ past performance. The agency’s goal was to “maximize competition” by considering all past work, rather than just relevant work. While there is no FAR Part 13 regulatory prohibition on doing so, GAO found the CPARS charts incomplete and misleading and the evaluation inconsistent with the terms of the solicitation.

Continue reading

GAO Defers to SBA’s Interpretation of Runway Extension Act

The Runway Extension Act has been a hot topic for federal government contractors. And as of this writing, the issue of the Act’s effectiveness hasn’t been conclusively decided—though SBA says the Act isn’t yet effective, others (including us, in various posts on this blog) have disagreed with this analysis. A recent GAO decision decided a protest based on the Runway Extension Act.

Continue reading

GAO Clarifies Timeliness Rules for Email Notice of Agency-Level Protest

You can access the internet from your couch, the skies above, and even from space. This means that you can also access your emails from each of these locations. I am sure that some of you have received emails from GAO, an agency, or a contracting officer on your phone in the last month. You may even be reading this blog while on the go. In our ever-connected world, is it possible to establish “regular business hours” and truly disconnect when it comes to emails? As it turns out, GAO says you can.

Continue reading