It’s a tale as old as time, and I’m not talking about “Beauty and the Beast.” I’m talking about an offeror who failed to comply with the registration requirements in FAR 52.204-7. What’s FAR 52.204-7? It’s the FAR provision that requires, among other things, all offerors to be registered in the System for Award Management, or SAM as it is better known. And, as we have seen many times before, there is no way around this rule. Often, failure to be registered in SAM limits an offeror’s eligibility before award is made, making the offeror ineligible for award. However, this time, it affected the award that had already been made, resulting in the court entering a preliminary injunction against the government continuing with its original award.Continue reading
A recent COFC decision yielded some important insights about government contracting. We already wrote about some joint venture aspects of the decision. But the decision also touched on whether GSA’s solicitation violated federal procurement law by excluding price as an evaluation factor at the indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) level for a procurement.Continue reading
Proving that an agency acted improperly in its source selection process can be a difficult task for any protester. In theory, for a best value tradeoff decision, the agency’s decision and the process to come to that decision seems easy: the agency does a tradeoff between cost and non-cost factors, and that which is most advantageous to the government is awarded. How hard could it be? And the decisions handed down by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) seem to confirm that it isn’t that hard, seeing as many cases challenging a best value decision are denied. This is, in large part, due to the discretion agencies are afforded in their source selection decisions. Whether an agency conducts discussions during the source selection process is one of many procurement factors that is left up to the agency’s discretion. But, every so often, a decision comes along to prove that there are limits to an agency’s discretion, and in this case, the agency’s discretion overstepped its bounds with its price reasonableness decision and the unjustified decision to not perform discussions.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
The Court of Federal Claims recently wrote that “[t]here is no such thing as a perfect procurement.” To anyone familiar with federal government contracts, this commentary states the obvious.
But springing from the Court’s observation is another important reality: “a flawed procurement is not necessarily an illegal one.”Continue reading