Ring Ring! GAO Sustains Protest of Awardee’s Conflict of Interest

Agencies have broad discretion when it comes to evaluating potential organizational conflicts of interest–but that discretion isn’t unlimited. In a recent decision involving a fight between two telecommunications giants, the GAO sustained the protest, holding that the the agency unreasonably concluded that there was no possibility of an “impaired objectivity” OCI arising from the award.

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Persistence Pays: GAO Sustains After Fourth Protest Due to Unreasonably Narrow Corrective Action

In its recent decision, Peraton, Inc., B-416916.8, et al. (Aug. 3, 2020), GAO ultimately sustained a protest that the Department of State’s corrective action was unreasonably limited—recommending the protester be reimbursed its protest costs in the process. For more on how it reached this result, buckle up! Because it was a long road for the protester to reach the GAO sustain.

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Whose Jurisdiction is it Anyways? GAO Dismisses Size Challenge

GAO recently dismissed a protest to an awardee’s eligibility under the applicable size standard. The protester argued that the agency should have known that the awardee exceeded the nonmanufacturer rule’s 500-employee maximum. After extensive briefing from both parties and from the SBA itself, GAO found that the awardee’s proposal didn’t raise any issues and that it was really up to the SBA to decide the size issues anyway.

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Protester Goes Seven for Seven in Arguments Before GAO

Veterans of the bid protest process know that it’s not uncommon for a protester to make half a dozen arguments and prevail on only one.

Know what that’s called? A win. But when a protester goes seven for seven, you have to tip your cap.

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Protester Hits the Trifecta: Bid Protest Sustained, Denied, and Dismissed

GAO issued a bid protest decision that sustained a protest in part, dismissed it in part, and denied it in part. Contractors can learn from this that even if all the arguments do not work, all it takes is one.

High Noon Unlimited, Inc. protested the U.S. Marine Corps decision to buy rifle magazine pouches off High Speed Gear, Inc. There was a large difference in price between the two offerors, with High Noon offering approximately $2.2 million while High Speed charged just under $3.6 million.

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GAO Green Lights Use of IGCE in Past Performance Evaluation

Internal Government Cost Estimates (IGCEs) are frequently used to gauge the reasonableness of contractor prices during proposal evaluation. But can these internal estimates also impact other evaluation factors? GAO was recently asked to resolve this question in the context of past performance evaluations, and the answer was essentially “you sure can!”

Alright, GAO wasn’t that enthusiastic, but it did condone the use of IGCEs when evaluating past performance.

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