The VA Rule of Two, while a powerful motivator for setting procurements aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, does have its limits.
One of those exceptions was discussed in a recent ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The court confirmed that the VA may convert a service-disabled veteran-owned small business set-aside solicitation to a small business set-aside if the SDVOSB bids it receives are too high in price.
We already blogged on the COFC’s landmark Rule of Two decision in Tolliver Grp., Inc. v. United States. But the court’s two-part holding (in favor of the plaintiffs on both counts) was just too impactful for a single blog. Not only did the court fault the agency for failing to do a Rule of Two analysis before using an IDIQ, it also said that the agency failed to justify the decision to cancel the solicitations and switch contract vehicles under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) standard of review, which the court called a “highly deferential”–but not “toothless”–review.
The United States Court of Federal Claims (COFC) has ruled that an agency has to conduct a small business Rule of Two analysis before it can use an existing multiple-award indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (MAIDIQ) contract vehicle to procure services. This is a landmark decision, given that GSA Schedule contracts are exempt from the Rule of Two.
When considering where to file a bid protest, you have options at the agency level, Government Accountability Office, and Court of Federal Claims. But not all options are available for protests of task and delivery order awards. The Court of Federal Claims recently reminded a protester that it lacks jurisdiction over task and delivery orders, even where an agency is proposing to bundle multiple separate contracts into one task order.
It’s never a good idea to perform work without a written contract authorizing the work; handshake agreements between the Government and contractors aren’t reliable. This is particularly true when a dispute arises and the contractor wants compensation. Without a contract, the firm might be out of luck.
The Court of Federal Claims recently reversed an agency’s default termination of a contractor that had experienced numerous performance issues and delays. The agency claimed that performance was “incurably behind schedule,” despite the contractor’s proposed recovery schedule.
The court held that the agency lacked a reasonable belief that the contract could not be timely completed.