From a recent GAO decision it appears that the ends can, in fact, justify the means; at least when it comes procurement set-asides for HUBZone companies. The decision is Foxhole Technology, Inc. B-419577 (May 12, 2021). In this matter, Foxhole Technology, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, protested the Department of Education’s decision to set aside an RFQ to supply cybersecurity services for HUBZone businesses. In its protest, Foxhole argued that the agency’s decision to set aside the procurement for HUBZone small business concerns was based on inadequate market research and was therefore not justified. GAO denied the protest.Continue reading
Tag Archives: FSS
GovCon Basics: Common Procurement Methods and Terminology
The acronyms and terminology used in federal government contracting can be a labyrinth–one sadly devoid of David Bowie. In this post, we’ll clarify some of the common methods used for government procurements, the regulations defining them, and the terminology associated with them.Continue reading
GAO Sustains Protest Where Single FSS Contract Didn’t Extend Long Enough to Cover Awarded BPA
If you are a Federal Supply Schedule contract holder competing for a BPA, then there’s an important principle that you should bear in mind: your underlying FSS contract should cover the entire anticipated duration of the blanket purchase agreement, including all option years.
And don’t try to provide this coverage with two different FSS contracts. That will get you into trouble–as one unfortunate contractor recently found out.Continue reading
GAO: Federal Supply Schedule Shorter in Duration than Blanket Purchase Agreement Spells Doom for Protester
Many GAO protests can hinge on fairly minute details that render a proposal unacceptable. A recent GAO case is a reminder that a contractor’s GSA Federal Supply Schedule must have sufficient duration to cover the period of performance for a blanket purchase agreement or the contractor may be ineligible for award.Continue reading
Bundling Didn’t Allow Agency to Purchase FSS Open Market Items, GAO Says
An agency cannot buy “Open Market” items from a Federal Supply Schedule vendor when the same items are readily available under another vendor’s FSS contract–even if the vendor selling Open Market items offers them as a discounted bundle and the FSS vendor does not.
In a recent decision, GAO held that it was improper for an agency to buy bundled software packages as Open Market items when another vendor sold the same licenses on its FSS contract as four separate items.
GAO: Navy Cannot Order Items Not Listed on Vendor’s FSS Schedule
Like many, I enjoy a good meal out on the town. I tend to order strictly from the menu without any additions or substitutions. Perhaps, it is from all my years of waitressing prior to attending law school. In a recent GAO decision, however, the Navy attempted to order items not on the vendor’s menu only to have GAO determine that the order was beyond the scope of that menu.
In Bluewater Management Group, LLC, B-414785 (Sept. 18, 2017), Bluewater protested the Navy’s award of lodging and transportation services to DMC Management Services, LLC, alleging the award was improper because DMC’s GSA Schedule contract did not include transportation services.
GSA Schedule Debriefing Doesn’t Extend Protest Time Frame, GAO Says
You’ve submitted a great proposal, but then you get the bad news – you lost. As most seasoned contractors know, an unsuccessful offeror often can ask for a debriefing from the agency and in doing so, hopefully get some valuable insight into its decision-making process. Many also understand that the benefits of asking for a debriefing may include extending the timeline for filing a GAO bid protest.
But not all solicitations are subject to the same debriefing regulations, and depending on how the procurement was conducted, an offeror might not be entitled to that extended deadline–as one company recently learned the hard way in the context of a GSA Schedule procurement.