GAO: A Higher Past Performance Rating For One Offeror Does Not Mean a Competitor Was Penalized

It seems like it should go without saying, but, just because an offeror with better evaluation ratings is preferred over one with neutral ratings does not mean the latter offeror was penalized for having neutral ratings, or that the neutral rating was a penalty. Nonetheless, in a recent bid protest a company creatively argued that it was penalized for having neutral ratings, and GAO unsurprisingly rejected it.

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Inadvertent Release of Incumbent Pricing Data Leads to Sustained Protest

Protecting sensitive business information, especially pricing, is essential even in the GAO bid protest realm. As an agency found out, even an inadvertent release of such information could lead to a sustained protest.

This slip up resulted in the cancellation of a nearly $1 billion contract. Needless to say, this was a big deal. How did this happen, and what should parties be looking for to protect their confidential data?

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Five Things You Should Know: GAO Bid Protest Interventions

Intervening in a GAO bid protest can be an important way to protect a federal contractor’s award. But when can you and should you intervene? Here’s how this might come up. As a federal contractor, you work hard to submit the best proposal you can, and then find out you win the award. A few days after, you find out you’ve been protested as part of a GAO bid protest. What are your options for responding to such a protest? Below, I’ll discuss the five things you should know about intervening in a GAO bid protest.

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Agency Properly Awarded Contract to Company with Nine Negative CPARs

Among some contractors, it’s taken as an article of faith that even a single negative Contractor Performance Assessment Report will effectively preclude the contractor from winning new government work.

While it’s undoubtedly true, in my opinion, that some Contracting Officers place too much emphasis on a single less-than-perfect CPAR, it’s also true that a contractor with multiple negative CPARs can still win government contracts, so long as the government reasonably believes that the contractor can successfully perform the new work. Case in point: a recent GAO bid protest decision upholding an award to a company with nine (count ’em!) recent, relevant and negative CPARs.

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Agency Not Required to Hunt Down and Investigate Bad Publicity, Says GAO

In a recent decision, GAO said that it is not the contracting agency’s job to play investigator when it comes to publicly available negative past performance information. GAO acknowledged that there may be certain situations where the agency is required to consider such information that it is aware of during its evaluation. But according to GAO, this denied protest involved no such situation.

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Late Quotation? No Protest: Protester who Submitted Quotation Late is Not Interested Party, per GAO

You submit a quotation after the given solicitation deadline. The solicitation includes a provision stating, in part, that late submissions will not be considered, but the Contracting Officer (CO) evaluates your quotation anyway. The CO goes with another contractor, and you submit a protest. After all, the CO evaluated your bid, you have an interest in the matter, right?

Per the GAO, you don’t, and your protest will be dismissed. D B Systems (DBS) learned this the hard way.

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GAO: Unequal Exchanges With Offerors by Agency Leads to Sustained Protest

An agency providing an opportunity to substantially revise a proposal can seem too good to be true. And sometimes, it is. It is a fundamental principle of procurement law that offerors must be treated equally. When one offeror is given an opportunity to “fix” the deficiencies in its proposal, but the other offeror is not, that is fundamentally unfair.

As one offeror found out, despite submitting everything to the agency as it was asked, GAO still sustained the protest.

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