An agency’s decision to award a contract as an 8(a) sole source is a “business decision” for which the agency has broad discretion–and a potential protester challenging the agency’s use of that discretion will have an uphill battle.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that government officials are presumed to act in good faith, and that the presumption extends to the decision to award an 8(a) sole source contract instead of competing the work in question.
GAO bid protests sometimes involve allegations that a particular contracting officer and/or other government personnel were biased against the protester.
However, as a recent GAO bid protest decision demonstrates, without “convincing proof,” which can be very difficult to obtain, the GAO will not sustain a protest allegation of bias or bad faith on the part of government employees. In other words, without a “smoking gun,” making an allegation of bias or bad faith may simply be a waste of time.