When GAO lacks jurisdiction to hear a protest over a task or delivery order, contractors have the right to complain to an ombudsman. Implementation of the ombudsman right, however, has been haphazard at best.
Last week, the DoD, GSA, and NASA–the entities comprising the FAR Council–proposed a rule to help alleviate this issue for IDIQ contracts.
As agencies look for ways to streamline acquisitions, task and delivery order procurements are becoming increasingly popular. But an agency doesn’t have unfettered discretion to award work under a multiple-award contract; each task or delivery order must be within the scope of the awarded IDIQ.
A recent GAO opinion considers what happens when an agency issues task orders that are outside the scope of the underlying multiple-award contract.
Only a very small percentage of DoD contracts–0.3 percent, to be precise–are protested, according to a comprehensive and fascinating new report on bid protests issued by the RAND Corporation.
The detailed report, which was prepared at the behest of Congress, concludes that DoD bid protests are “exceedingly uncommon,” and typically aren’t frivolous. RAND’s analysts urge policymakers to carefully consider the data when evaluating whether reforms to the bid protest process are necessary–and to “avoid drawing overall conclusions or assumptions about trends from one case when it comes to the efficacy of the bid protest system.”
Amen to that.