CAGE-y Evaluation: Agency Unreasonably Failed to Consider CAGE Codes Provided in Proposal

Facilities security clearances are a common requirement for Department of Defense procurements. While important for national security reasons, these solicitation requirements can also create confusion with respect to evaluation. A recent GAO decision demonstrates how confusion can arise when a contractor holds multiple CAGE codes, only one of which corresponds to a cleared facility.

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GAO Won’t Let Agencies Sweep Solicitation Non-Compliance Under the Rug

An agency can’t award an offeror a contract if its proposal doesn’t conform with a material solicitation requirement. So if, for example, the solicitation requires certain types of documentation showing an offeror’s right to use property, but the awardee offers something different, GAO will likely sustain a protest.

Put differently, GAO won’t let an agency relax key solicitation requirements even though the agency might, during evaluation, accept the non-complying proposal.

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