COFC: Agency Cannot Ignore Changed Solicitation Requirements after 4-Year Bid Protest Saga

A recent court case details the aftermath of a bid protest battle lasting over four years. During that period, the agency’s requirements had changed, and the court held that the agency was required to amend its solicitation as a result.

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GAO: Agency’s Oral Advice Didn’t Amend Solicitation

An agency’s oral advice, given at a pre-proposal conference, did not amend the solicitation or legally bind the agency.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO reiterated that offerors rely on oral advice from agencies at their own risk–particularly when the oral advice in question appears to contradict the plain language of the solicitation.

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GAO: “Minimal” Solicitation Changes Justified Cancellation

An agency was entitled to cancel a solicitation when its needs changed–even though the anticipated changes in its needs “might be characterized as minimal.”

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO confirmed that a procuring agency has broad discretion to cancel a solicitation when the agency’s anticipated needs change, and that discretion extends to cases in which the agency’s changed needs could be addressed by amending the existing solicitation.

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Tick-Tock: NAICS Code Appeal Clock Keeps Running During Discussions

A NAICS code appeal ordinarily must be filed within ten days of the issuance of a solicitation–and a prospective offeror’s discussions with the Contracting Officer do not extend the deadline.

In a recent NAICS code appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that the ten-day clock keeps moving even while a prospective offeror is working behind the scenes in an effort to convince the procuring agency to change the NAICS code.

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GAO: 15-Hour Bid Submission Deadline Was Unreasonable

A procuring agency acted improperly by allowing bidders a mere 15 hours to respond to an amended Invitation for Bids–especially given that most of those 15 hours were outside of ordinary working times.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO sustained an offeror’s protest of the 15-hour deadline, holding that the procuring agency had acted improperly by failing to give prospective bidders a reasonable time to prepare and submit amended bids.

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GAO: ASFI Website Is No FedBizOpps

Under the GAO’s bid protest rules, an offeror is not presumed to have knowledge of information published on the Army’s Single Face to Industry (ASFI) website.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that an offeror did not have “constructive knowledge” of an amendment posted on the ASFI because, unlike FedBizOpps, the ASFI has not been designated as a government-wide point of entry for the publication of solicitations.

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GAO: Initial Proposal “Nullified” By Solicitation Amendment

When an initial proposal is nullified by a subsequent solicitation amendment, an offeror must timely resubmit its proposal–or be eliminated from the competition.

As one offeror recently learned, an agency can nullify initial proposals with a solicitation amendment that substantially changes the solicitaton’s terms.  When that happens, an offeror can no longer rely on its initial proposal.

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