Timing Issues: Challenges to Brand Name Salient Characteristics Due Before Proposal Submission, Says GAO

Time. It’s a great Pink Floyd song. It’s also something that frequently trips up contractors filing protests before GAO. As one contractor recently discovered, a challenge to the salient characteristics of a brand name product is equivalent to challenging the terms of a solicitation, which carries a different protest deadline than evaluation challenges. Unfortunately for the protester, its argument did not fair nearly as well as one of David Gilmour’s solos.

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GAO Denies Challenge to Solicitation Terms: Use of “Tactical” Was Imprecise, but Allowable

In the world of federal contracting, precision matters. In fact, precision is often essential when developing a winning proposal. When it comes to subjective evaluation considerations, however, it can be challenging to articulate relevant evaluation criteria with a high level of precision. Indeed, as one prospective offeror recently discovered, some evaluation terms are good enough for government work, despite being imprecise.

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Contractor’s Creative Staffing Proposal Leads to Elimination from Competition

In the competitive federal marketplace, businesses are always looking for ways to make their proposals more competitive. With millions of dollars at stake, it is no surprise that some competitors develop clever approaches to give their proposal a competitive edge. As one competitor recently discovered, however, there is a point where an offer can get too clever, which may result in proposal elimination. Especially when an agency views the clever approach as violating a solicitation staffing requirement.

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Removing a Price Realism Evaluation is a Material Change, Says GAO

Price realism—the evaluation of whether a proposed price is too low—is a method the government may use to evaluate fixed price offers to ensure that offerors are proposing pricing that reflects an understanding of the work required by the solicitation. Prices that are unrealistically low can result in proposal elimination. This means price realism is an important consideration when preparing a bid. But what if an agency decides after proposal submission that a price realism evaluation will not be performed? In a recent decision, GAO confirmed that offerors must be given the opportunity to revise their proposals.

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YouTube Tuesday: SBA and VA SDVOSB Programs- Consolidated or Still Separate?

With July 4th around the corner, we wanted to remind everyone of the government contracting opportunities available to our nation’s veterans, including the SDVOSB Program. In this video, I cover how the SDVOSB Program has changed over time and how it works now:

If you are a veteran in need of assistance with government contracting matters, check out how we can help here.

Thank You to the House Contracting and Infrastructure Subcommittee

Participating as a witness in a Congressional hearing is among the highlights of my career. It was an honor to be selected to provide insight on the Defense Production Act and its utilization of America’s small business base.

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Required Disclosures to the Government did not Waive Attorney Client Privilege, 4th Circuit Finds

Attorney-client privilege is a cornerstone of the American legal system. It protects conversations between an attorney and their client from disclosure during litigation. The goal of this protection is to allow an attorney to provide the best representation possible by protecting client communications from being later leveraged during litigation. Sometimes, however, invocation of attorney-client privilege protections can be complicated by required disclosures. But federal contractors are required to notify the government about various circumstances that may impact their role as contractors. What if there is a conflict between mandatory government disclosures and attorney-client privilege? In a recent decision, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to determine whether certain mandatory disclosures under the FAR waived attorney client privilege.

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