Same As It Ever Was: GAO Confirms Reinstatement of $10 Million Task Order Bid Protest Threshold

In 2008, Congress granted GAO the authority to hear bid protests of task orders valued at more than $10 million.  After this provision sunset in 2011, the GAO held in Technatomy Corp., B-405130 (June 14, 2011), that it had authority to hear bid protests of task orders of any size.

Congress, apparently, did not approve of GAO’s newfound expansion of its bid protest authority.  In December 2011, it passed legislation to reinstate the $10 million threshold. Notably, the amendment applies to task order solicitations issued during that “golden period” between June and December 2011.

The decision in Kevcon, Inc., B-406418 (March 7, 2012), confirms that the $10 million bid protest task order threshold is back immediately, and in the words of the Talking Heads, same as it ever was.  The Kevcon case involved a VA task order solicitation for design-build services.  The solicitation was issued on August 23, 2011, and Kevcon submitted its proposal before the September 13, 2011 closing date.  Kevcon’s quoted price was $2.64 million.  On February 1, 2012, the VA informed Kevcon that it was ineligible for the award.

The GAO dismissed Kevcon’s bid protest, holding that “we do not have jurisdiction . . . because [the protest] concerns a task order valued at less than $10 million.”  The GAO rejected Kevcon’s argument that the $10 million threshold only applies to solicitations issued after December 31, 2011.  The GAO wrote that its jurisdiction is “based on the filing date of the protest, rather than the date of the underlying procurement action.”

As the Talking Heads said, you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack or find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile.  But after December 31, 2011, you will not find yourself in front of the GAO with a viable bid protest of a task order under $10 million (except in a few exceptions apparently not present in Kevcon).

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