The breadth and depth of protests heard by GAO may lead even a seasoned government contractor to overlook the limitations of GAO’s jurisdiction.
As one contractor recently found, the GAO generally will not consider
protests based on an allegation that the agency should not have referred an
adverse responsibility determination to the SBA for a certificate of competency
GAO has the authority to oversee bid protests involving many different government agencies. But its jurisdiction has limits, such as that it won’t consider protests of certain activities at the U.S. Mint.
One other limitation is that, when a federal agency provides funding to a non-federal entity and that non-federal entity procures services through competitive award, GAO will not consider a protest of that award. A recent GAO decision confirmed the lack of jurisdiction in a situation involving a competitive procurement by a federally recognized tribe using FEMA grant money.
A CIO-SP3 SB contract holder could not protest the award of a task order to a competitor because the order was valued at less than $10 million.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that civilian task order awards–including those under CIO-SP3 SB–generally cannot be protested unless the value of the order exceeds $10 million.
Despite older case law to the contrary, the GAO ordinarily lacks jurisdiction to decide a protest challenging the award of a subcontract, even where the subcontract is alleged to have been made “for” the government, as in the case of some subcontracts awarded by DOE Management and Operation prime contractors.
In a recent decision, the GAO confirmed that, except in very narrow circumstances, it won’t decide protests challenging subcontract awards.
The GAO ordinarily lacks jurisdiction to consider a protest of a task or delivery order under a DoD multiple-award contract unless the value of the order exceeds $25 million.
In a recent bid protest decision, the DoD confirmed that the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act upped the jurisdictional threshold for DoD task orders from $10 million to $25 million.
As a branch of the Treasury Department, the United States Mint would usually be subject to federal procurement laws, like bid protests. As one contractor recently discovered, however, certain activities at the Mint have been exempted from many federal procurement laws, including GAO protest review.
Simply put, the GAO can’t decide a bid protest of Mint procurements.
The GAO lacks jurisdiction to consider a challenge to a contract awardee’s size status, including questions of whether the awardee is affiliated with its subcontractor under the ostensible subcontractor rule.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that it will not adjudicate an allegation of ostensible subcontractor affiliation.