4 C.F.R. 21.2(b) states that, for GAO protests, GAO has the option to dismiss or not dismiss a protest that is filed late if there is good cause or it is an important issue. In other words, if there’s a good reason, GAO can accept an untimely protest. (Please note that this is not suggesting the filing deadline does not matter, GAO treats it very strictly most of the time and you should treat it as a “drop-dead” deadline).
For this reason, some think this same discretion applies in other protests and appeals regarding government contracts. For the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), it very much does not.
A company learned the hard way that just because their business is majority owned by a woman, it doesn’t mean they are a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) in the eyes of the SBA. The question is one of both ownership and control.
Ask many government contractors, and they’ll tell you that even a single negative report in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System can have a powerful adverse impact on winning future prime contracts.
Given the importance of these performance reports, it’s little wonder that a contractor on the receiving end of a negative CPAR may want to ask a judge to review the matter. But as one recent case demonstrates, a contractor cannot challenge a CPAR with a judge until the contractor has followed the FAR’s claims process.
Some times it’s easy to forget that the world of government contracting, including the many agencies which oversee its administration, exist within an overarching federal system of delegated powers, which comes to bear on the outcome of disputes.
The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals receives its authority from sections of the Contract Disputes Act, and exists primarily as a neutral, independent forum to hear and decide post-award contract disputes between government contractors and certain government agencies, but its power to hear cases is limited. The Board recently issued a decision with a reminder that it does not have jurisdiction over requests for specific performance or injunctive relief.
Contractors in the COVID-19 era may be tempted to think that the Government will compensate them for increased costs caused by virus-induced shutdowns, quarantines, and the like. And this line of thought has some inherent appeal.
After all, the virus was entirely unforeseen by both parties when the contract was inked. So shouldn’t the customer–the party wanting the good or service–bear the risk of these extraordinary events?
In any legal action, it’s critical to understand the standard that the tribunal applies to a claim. Until now, the Federal Circuit–an intermediate federal appeals court immediately below the U.S. Supreme Court–had not articulated the standard for disparate evaluation claims in bid protests. Though not groundbreaking, a recent case provides clarity for attorneys and litigants alike.