A small business set-aside procurement did not violate the FAR’s restrictions on contract bundling, according to the GAO.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO pointed out the bundling occurs when a procurement would be unsuitable for award to small business, and held that a set-aside procurement–by its nature–is not unsuitable for small businesses.
According to the GAO, a solicitation was unduly restrictive because it prohibited the consideration of the past performance of an offeror’s affiliates–even when the affiliates would contribute to performance of the contract.
The GAO’s bid protest decision in Iyabak Construction, LLC, B-409196 (Feb. 6, 2014) demonstrates that agency restrictions on the consideration of past performance must be reasonable. However, the Iyabak Construction decision should not be interpreted as standing for the principle than an agency can never exclude the past performance of an offeror’s affiliates if those affiliates will contribute to contract performance. Rather, the case suggests that it was the government’s failure to offer a good explanation–not the underlying restriction itself–that led to the “sustain” decision.
The GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction does not extend to complaints that a government agency has violated a company’s intellectual property rights.
According to a recent GAO bid protest decision, the GAO lacks jurisdiction over intellectual property matters, and affected companies must seek relief in the federal courts.
A GSA Schedule solicitation restricted to a particular brand item was improper because the procuring agency failed to properly justify the restriction, according to a recent GAO bid protest decision.
The GAO’s decision is an important reminder that “brand name only” restrictions are disfavored and that procuring agencies bear the burden of reasonably justifying such restrictions–even when they buy off the GSA Schedule.
How easy would be for you to obtain resumes and signed letters of intent from your competitor’s employees?
If you answered “not very,” you’re not alone. A small business contractor, Maritime Institute Inc., recently protested the terms of a Navy solicitation, complaining that the solicitation unreasonably forced Maritime to obtain resumes and signed commitment letters from prospective employees, including any incumbent personnel Maritime intended to hire. According to the GAO, however, the Navy’s requirement was perfectly reasonable–notwithstanding any competitive advantage to the incumbent.