VA SDVOSB Rule of Two: Court Provides Important Guidance for Protesters

A protester contending that the VA violated the “rule of two” by failing to set-aside a solicitation for SDVOSBs must present sufficient facts to indicate that the VA should have had a reasonable expectation of receiving two or more offers from SDVOSBs at fair and reasonable prices.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims dismissed a rule of two challenge because, according to the Court, the protester only identified one SDVOSB–itself–that was likely to submit an offer at a fair and reasonable price.

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Bundling Didn’t Allow Agency to Purchase FSS Open Market Items, GAO Says

An agency cannot buy “Open Market” items from a Federal Supply Schedule vendor when the same items are readily available under another vendor’s FSS contract–even if the vendor selling Open Market items offers them as a discounted bundle and the FSS vendor does not.

In a recent decision, GAO held that it was improper for an agency to buy bundled software packages as Open Market items when another vendor sold the same licenses on its FSS contract as four separate items. 

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Hack Response: Notarized Letters Now Required for SAM.gov

Because of a recent cyber attack on the System for Award Management, the Federal Service Desk is requiring new contractors to submit a signed notarized letter in order to be registered. Later this month, existing registrants seeking to update or renew profiles will have to do the same.

This move comes after the General Services Administration acknowledged on March 22 that the inspector general is looking into a hack of the SAM.gov database, in which the hackers changed the banking information for “a limited number” of contractors.

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“Using” an Affiliate’s Past Performance: GAO Explains the Test

Contrary to a common misconception, an offeror is not automatically entitled to “use” the past performance of parent companies, sister companies or other corporate affiliates. So when can an offeror rely on the past performance of an affiliate in submitting a proposal?

A recent GAO opinion sheds some light on that question. Not meeting the GAO’s guidelines for describing the detailed involvement of the affiliate can have a harsh result—a sustained protest if award was made based on the affiliate’s past performance.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: April 2 – 6, 2018

Winter refuses to end here in Lawrence, Kansas as snow is in the forecast tonight.  But before we settle in for a cold weekend, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week in Review.

In this week’s edition, how the DoD will collect data to help reduce time for awards,  two construction companies have agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve whistleblower claims related to set-aside contracts, the GSA and OMB move forward with the e-commerce initiative established in the 2018 NDAA and much more.

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DoD Immediately Implements Portion of Enhanced Debriefing Requirements

The DoD has issued a class deviation to immediately implement part of the the enhanced debriefing requirements mandated by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

In a class deviation issued on March 22, 2018, the DoD says that, effective immediately, contracting officers must comply with new requirements allowing unsuccessful offerors to submit questions–and postponing the ticking of the “protest clock” until after answers are received.  But the class deviation doesn’t fully implement the 2018 NDAA’s enhanced debriefing requirements; the portion of the statute calling for the disclosure of redacted source selection information is not addressed.

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GAO Final Rule: EPDS Filing System Will Be Live May 1

We’ve been following GAO’s plan to implement its Electronic Protest Docketing System (“EPDS”) with great interest. In fact, we’ve had the opportunity to test-drive the new system (tl/dr: it’s a very user-friendly system, but there are a couple of minor improvements that would make it even better).

Just yesterday, GAO released a final rule implementing EPDS. Here are the most important takeaways.

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