Nonmanufacturer Rule Violation Leads To Default Termination

A procuring agency appropriately terminated a small business set-aside contract for default when the SBA determined, after contract award, that the prime contractor was not complying with the nonmanufacturer rule.

A recent decision of the Armed Service Board of Contract Appeals involved a very interesting factual situation, in which the small business in question told the SBA that it planned to perform the contract in compliance with the nonmanufacturer rule, but then failed to do so.  This failure, according to the ASBCA, justified a default termination.

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ASBCA: Contractor’s Request For Cancellation Was Not A Default

A contractor’s request that the agency issue a “no-cost” cancellation of its contract was not a default–and did not justify the government’s default termination of the contract.

In a recent decision, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals held that a contractor did not repudiate its contract by requesting a cancellation because the contractor’s request was not a “positive, definite, unconditional, and unequivocal refusal to perform.”

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Contractor’s Price Revealed to Competitors, GAO Says “Tough Luck”

When a contractor is declared the winner of a competition, the contractor’s bottom-line pricing is usually revealed to competitors.  Typically, the winner has no complaints: it is well-understood that the bottom-line pricing of winning contractors is usually considered public information (the taxpayers have a right to know how the government is spending their money).

But what if, after announcing the supposed awardee’s price, the agency changes its mind and re-opens the competition?  The price of the former “winner” is exposed, while the prices of its competitors remain a mystery.  It sounds unfair, but in a recent GAO bid protest decision, the GAO refused to require the procuring agency to level the playing field.

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