Readers of this blog will know that the GAO interprets its protest timeliness rules quite strictly. A recent GAO case provides us with an opportunity to review a nuanced piece of those timeliness rules. Specifically, how withdrawal of an agency-level protest affects the deadline to file a GAO protest, and what counts as a withdrawal of an agency-level protest versus an “initial adverse agency action.”
In this case, the protester lost its GAO protest rights by trying to pursue its agency-level protest with an inspector general’s office rather than with the contracting officer.
The GAO has suspended a protester for “abusive litigation practices,” for the second time.
Last year, the GAO suspended Latvian Connection LLC from participating in the GAO bid protest process for one year, after the firm filed 150 protests in the course of a single fiscal year. Now, citing “derogatory and abusive allegations,” among many other concerns, the GAO has re-imposed its suspension–this time, for two years.
This story is about a glider, a balloon, the planet Venus, and Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. This subject matter is the fabric of the universe, but the lesson it teaches is as mundane as linen sheets.
A NASA Small Business Innovation Research offeror cannot always wait for a debriefing to file a GAO bid protest, because if it does, it may run the risk of the protest grounds being untimely.
Citing an abuse of the protest process, the GAO has suspended a company’s right to file bid protests for a period of one year.
The GAO’s unusual action was taken after the contractor in question filed 150 bid protests in the ongoing fiscal year alone, most of which have been dismissed for technical reasons. The GAO’s decision also cites “baseless accusations” made by the protester, including accusing GAO officials of being “white collar criminals” and asserting that “various federal officials have engaged in treason.”
The GAO is proposing a major overhaul of its bid protest filing system.
In a Federal Register notice published today, the GAO proposes significant changes regarding how protests are filed (get ready for filing fees), the timeliness of bid protests, and much more.
After a protest was filed at the GAO, a procuring agency delayed implementing the mandatory statutory suspension of work, then amended the awardee’s contract to permit the awardee to fully perform before the suspension actually kicked in.
Then the agency got caught.
In a recent decision, the GAO sustained a protest because the agency had circumvented the GAO’s bid protest process. But while the agency got busted–a good thing–the penalty it will pay is less than satisfactory.