The first step in competing for a federal contract is knowing that an opportunity exists in the first place. In a recent protest, a contractor argued it was not able to find an opportunity despite routinely searching the appropriate federal procurement opportunity system, e-Buy. Thus, according to the protesting company, the procurement was not properly publicized and the award was improper.
GAO did not agree.
The GSA e-Buy website may have improperly failed to preserve critical solicitation records, according to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In Laboratory Corp. of America v. United States, No. 12-622C (2012), the court has asked the government to explain why it should not face sanctions for so-called “spoliation” of evidence, arising from the inability to access archived e-Buy materials. The court also suggested that the procuring agency might have used e-Buy to improperly attempt to modify a solicitation without issuing a formal amendment.