GAO: We’re Not Wrong, But Our Original Recommendation Was Not Right

Whenever GAO issues a bid protest decision, some parties are happier than others. In limited circumstances, however, an unhappy party may petition GAO to reconsider its decision if the outcome was based on errors of either fact or law. It is extremely rare for GAO to reverse itself during a reconsideration request. That may explain why in a recent reconsideration decision, GAO maintains that its decision was correct based on the facts presented to it, but GAO nevertheless modified its recommendations substantially in the face of new facts. As a kicker, GAO also took away its recommendation that the agency pay protester’s attorney fees.

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Plan Ahead to Prevent Proposal Submission Issues, Says GAO

When submitting bids, contractors should always double check their proposal submission methods, whether it be a designated portal, email, or any other method, and do so well before the deadline. GAO recently had the opportunity to examine proposal submission issues related to a US Navy procurement, and did not show sympathy for the contractor who experienced proposal submission issues right at the deadline.

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GAO Clarifies Timeliness Rules for Email Notice of Agency-Level Protest

You can access the internet from your couch, the skies above, and even from space. This means that you can also access your emails from each of these locations. I am sure that some of you have received emails from GAO, an agency, or a contracting officer on your phone in the last month. You may even be reading this blog while on the go. In our ever-connected world, is it possible to establish “regular business hours” and truly disconnect when it comes to emails? As it turns out, GAO says you can.

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One Protest Spoils the Bunch

GAO recently dismissed several bid protests to an $82 billion procurement because of the actions of a company that had already lost its protest.

In AECOM Management Services, four different companies protested the U.S. Army’s logistics civil augmentation program procurement for various “Setting the Theater” services for the Army’s Northern Command, Southern Command, African Command, European Command, Central Command, Pacific Command, and Afghanistan.

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GAO Examines Requirements for Sole-Source Contracts

Sole-source awards can make many contractors feel left out of the loop of the procurement process. GAO in the past has upheld that sole-source contracts are allowable so long as the agency has a reasonable justification for the sole-source contract. Recently GAO re-examined what constitutes a reasonable “justification and award” for a sole-source contract.  

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GAO Report: Agencies Need to Improve Data on Construction Contract Changes

Many federal construction contractors know that contract changes can be frustrating business. Changes can be unilateral or bilateral. They can stress a contractor’s finances. They can delay the overall project. And they can result in animosity between the agency and a contractor.

Fortunately, GAO has shined some light on the problems in the contract change process. Indeed, in a recent report, GAO concluded that agencies, particularly the Army Corps of Engineers and GSA, need to develop better systems to collect data about changes in construction contracts.

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Missing Password Doesn’t Sink CIO-SP3 Proposal

A Maryland contractor nearly lost a contract with $20 billion ceiling because of a password protected encrypted document.

After much back and forth, and for somewhat obscure reasons, GAO said that it was unreasonable for the agency to ask for the password and then not use it.

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