GAO: Agencies May Request Size Recertification on Long-Term IDIQs

Ordinarily, a business is “small” for purposes of a set-aside government contract if it falls below the applicable size standard (determined by NAICS code) on the date of its initial offer.  The same policy holds true on long-term indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts: if a business is small for the initial IDIQ award, it is small for subsequent task orders—unless the procuring agency asks for recertification, and the contractor has grown in the interim.

The GAO’s decision in Enterprise Information Services, Inc., B-403028 (Sept. 10, 2010), confirms that agencies are within their rights to request size recertification for task order competitions under IDIQs.

The Enterprise GAO protest arose out of a task order competition under the GSA’s 8(a) streamlined technology acquisition resources (“STARS”) IDIQ contract.  As part of the competition, the procuring agency asked offerors to recertify their small business size.

Enterprise Information Services, Inc., which had previously certified its small business size on the underlying IDIQ contract, filed a GAO protest.  It argued that its initial size certification should be valid throughout the term of the IDIQ, without any need for recertification for individual task order competitions.

The GAO denied the protest.  It held that contracting officers have the discretion to require a business to recertify its size status in response to a solicitation for a task order under a long-term contract (exceeding five years), such as the seven-year STARS contract in question.

As the GAO’s decision confirms, when an agency properly requests size recertification on a long-term IDIQ contract, as was the case in Enterprise Information Services, only firms that are small as of the recertification date are eligible for award.

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