Despite Your Interest in a Protest, GAO Might Not Think You’re an “Interested Party”

Let’s suppose that you just received a new solicitation hot off the press. As you peruse it, you find a requirement that you believe is too onerous or unnecessary. So you contemplate filing a GAO protest to challenge that term. Before doing so, be sure that you’re an “interested party” under GAO’s regulations. Well, I filed a protest, you say, doesn’t that ipso facto make me an interested party? Short answer: no.

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GAO Bid Protests: A Wrinkle In Time(liness)

As our regular readers know, a GAO protest challenging an agency’s evaluation decision must be filed within 10 days from the date the protester knew (or should have known) of the protest grounds, or within 10 days from the date the protester receives its debriefing (but only if the debriefing was required and timely requested). 4 C.F.R. § 21.2(a)(2).

But sometimes, an agency might give an offeror a reason to protest before it makes its official award determination. In that case, should the offeror wait to file its protest until the agency completes its evaluation?

In some cases, no—the protest should be filed within 10 days from the date the agency makes its determination known.

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GAO Catch-22: A Protest is Both Too Late and Too Early

Over the years, we’ve written a fair number of blogs about how contractors have been either too early or too late to protest. What we haven’t blogged about is a situation where a contractor is premature and late. Unfortunately for one protester, GAO has recently confirmed that you can, indeed, be both too early and too late to protest.

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Agency Must Consider Price Before Eliminating a Contractor from Competitive Range, GAO Confirms

In theory, best value procurements provide the government with an opportunity to select a higher priced proposal where the higher price is justified by the technical superiority of the proposal. In practice, though, the technical factors of a best value procurement can seemingly relegate price to a secondary consideration. In a recent decision, however, GAO confirmed that price is an essential evaluation consideration in any best-value decision.

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Biggest Loser: GAO Dismisses Marines’ Reconsideration Request on Magazine Pouch Weight

A few months ago, we blogged on a sustained GAO decision that concluded the Marines had failed to evaluate offerors in accordance with the Solicitation. Specifically, GAO identified issues with the evaluations of offeror samples, and recommended that the Marines reevaluate offerors. In the wake of GAO’s decision, the Marines filed a request for reconsideration. Unfortunately, the Marines request did not comply precisely with GAO’s filing procedures, resulting in a dismissal.

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YouTube Tuesday: Protests Are Down: Are Enhanced Debriefings Responsible?

After relatively steady protest numbers year over year, GAO’s 2019 annual report saw a significant drop in bid protest filings. Could enhanced debriefings be driving this trend? Watch below as I explore the possible link:

For more information, check out the related post here.