GAO’s jurisdiction to hear protests of certain civilian task and delivery orders has been restored.
On December 15, 2016, the President signed the 2016 GAO Civilian Task and Delivery Order Protest Authority Act (the “ 2016 Act”) into law. The 2016 Act restores GAO’s recently-expired jurisdiction to hear protests of civilian task and delivery orders valued in excess of $10 million.
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act restores the GAO’s recently-expired jurisdiction to hear protests of civilian task and delivery orders valued in excess of $10 million.
The 2017 NDAA also continues to allow the GAO to hear protests of DoD task and delivery orders–but raises the jurisdictional threshold to $25 million.
I don’t know about your part of the country, but here in Lawrence, the temperatures have plunged and it has finally felt like winter for the first time. When temps get cold, I prefer to stay inside with a hot beverage, but I have to hand it to all of the die hard Chiefs fans who scoffed at the single-digit temperatures and spent the evening watching their team defeat the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium last night.
As we continue our wintry approach to the holidays, it’s been a big week in government contracting. Here on SmallGovCon, we’ve been focusing on the government contracting provisions of the 2017 NDAA, and this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review has an additional update on the bill’s progress. But that’s not all: our weekly roundup of government contracting news also includes a change to the FAR to reflect SBA regulations regarding multiple-award contracts, previews of contracting under President-elect Trump, and much more.
As previously foreshadowed and discussed in depth, October 1, 2016, marked the date in which unsuccessful offerors lost the ability to challenge most task order awards issued by civilian agencies.
Although the GAO remains able to hear protests relating to DoD task orders exceeding $10 million, two recent GAO decisions impose an important limitation: GAO does not have jurisdiction to consider awards issued by DoD under a multiple-award contract operated by a civilian agency.
The GAO’s jurisdiction to hear most protests in connection with task and delivery order awards under civilian multiple award IDIQs has expired.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that it no longer has jurisdiction to hear protests in connection with civilian task and delivery order awards valued over $10 million because the underlying statutory authority expired on September 30, 2016.
After September 30, 2016, unsuccessful offerors will lose the ability to challenge some task order awards issued by civilian agencies.
With the House of Representatives and Senate at odds over the extent to which task orders should be subject to bid protests in the first place, it’s unclear whether that protest right will be restored.
GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction is defined—and limited—by both statute and its regulations. As part of these jurisdictional limits, GAO ordinarily may only consider protests relating to task order procurements if those orders are valued in excess of $10 million.
But despite this rule, GAO recently considered a protester’s challenge to a task order valued at only $8.7 million. It did so after deciding that the challenge was “intertwined” with the protester’s challenge to its own termination for convenience–another matter the GAO only considers in unusual circumstances.