GAO Faults Contractor for General Manager’s Sickness

When an incumbent contractor’s general manager got sick and had to quit, the contractor promptly found a replacement, which the agency approved. But there was still one problem: the incumbent had already proposed to use the same general manager for the next contract.

According to GAO, the agency was right to eliminate the contractor from the competition, even though the agency knew that the contractor had a new general manager and had, in fact, approved the replacement.

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Federal Court Again Says Agency Erred By Not Clarifying Proposal Errors

A procuring agency erred by failing to seek clarification of obvious errors in an offeror’s proposal, according to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

In Level 3 Communications, LLC v. United States, No. 16-829 (2016), the Court held that although a Contracting Officer has discretion over whether to seek clarification of a proposal, this discretion is not unlimited. By failing to clarify obvious errors, the Contracting Officer’s decision was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.

The decision builds on a 2013 case, BCPeabody Construction Services, Inc., No. 13-378C (2013), in which the Court reached a similar conclusion. But so far, the GAO has drawn a hard line, essentially holding that an agency’s discretion in this area is unlimited.

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2017 NDAA Requires GAO Report On DoD Minority And WOSB Contract Awards

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act will require the GAO to issue a report about the number and types of contracts the Department of Defense awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses during fiscal years 2010 to 2015.

If the 2017 NDAA is signed into law, the GAO would be required to submit its report within one year of the statute’s enactment.

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GAO Proposes Major Overhaul Of Bid Protest Filing System

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.

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Army Improperly Extended Contracts, GAO Says

The Army improperly used FAR 52.217-8 (Option to Extend Services) to extend several contracts for periods much longer than the six-month maximum allowed by the clause.

This conclusion comes from a recent GAO study, in which the GAO determined that the Army improperly applied FAR 52.217-8 in three out of five contracts studied by the GAO.  And although the GAO’s report was narrowly focused on a handful of Army contracts, it leads me to wonder whether FAR 52.217-8 is being improperly used on a much broader scale.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 16-20, 2015

After a busy week of travel to Pittsburgh for the 2015 National Veterans Small Business Engagement, I have returned to the office to get you caught up on this week’s top government contracting news. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the House of Representatives adds veterans to the list of disadvantaged companies under the DOT DBE program (but not everyone is happy about it), a look at how a decline in defense spending will impact contractors, the Government starts the process of looking for alternatives to DUNS numbers, and much more.

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