Agencies Do Not Have Unlimited Discretion to Cancel Solicitations, Says the COFC

In its recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims decided whether and when an agency can cancel a FAR part 15 procurement and start from scratch. Agencies have historically been afforded extremely broad discretion in cancelling solicitations. But in this case, the court agreed with the protester that cancellation was wrongful. It also laid out the details of a proper versus improper solicitation cancellation quite nicely. Thus, this landmark decision provides crucial guidance on the subject for agencies and federal contractors alike.

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Who You Gonna Call? Your Contracting Officer (Part 3) 

In our line of work, we regularly litigate protests, claims, appeals, etc., against the Government. But often, procuring and contracting issues can be resolved without the need for litigation–via a little-known method we like to call “talking things out with your CO.” There are also some important things to keep in mind regarding contract performance communications. This article is the last of three articles aimed at providing helpful tips for communicating with your contracting officer. Part 1, which focused on pre-solicitation and solicitation communications, can be found here. And Part 2, which focused on proposal submission communications, can be found here. This article will focus on contract performance communications.

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Federal Court Confirms Strict SDVOSB Unconditional Ownership Requirements

As we’ve discussed, the SBA will soon take the reins over from VA to run the certification process for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) and Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). Self-certification for SDVOSBs will go away on December 31, 2023, so be sure to get your SDVOSB ownership and control documents up to snuff in order to stay compliant with the SDVOSB rules. One of those rules concerns unconditional ownership by the veteran. A recent federal court case sheds some additional light on that topic, as explored in this post.

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Reminder: If Pricing is Too High, VA Rule of Two Might Not Apply

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. 

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Agency’s Decision to Cancel FAR Part 8 Solicitations and Move the Work to Existing Multiple Award Contract Was Flawed, Says COFC

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.

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COFC Says Agency Must Consider Rule of Two Before Using Multiple-Award IDIQ Contract Vehicle

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.  

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COFC: No Jurisdiction Over Bundling of Contracts into Task Order

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.

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