Protester Goes Seven for Seven in Arguments Before GAO

Veterans of the bid protest process know that it’s not uncommon for a protester to make half a dozen arguments and prevail on only one.

Know what that’s called? A win. But when a protester goes seven for seven, you have to tip your cap.

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GAO: Single Instance of Disparate Treatment Prejudiced Protester

A GAO protest can rest on a number of different grounds. One of the most fertile, however, is disparate treatment. That is, GAO is particularly sensitive to arguments that a procuring agency wasn’t even-handed in evaluating the same features or omissions in competing proposals.

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Agency Bungles Proposal Evaluations; GAO Sustains Protest and Awards Costs

Bid protests are an important part of the federal government’s procurement system. Why? Because sometimes agencies really get the evaluation wrong. They read non-existent requirements into the solicitation; give credit where none is due; and adjust an offeror’s price without forewarning. Thankfully, in those cases, we have GAO to make course corrections.

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GAO Report: Agencies Need to Improve Data on Construction Contract Changes

Many federal construction contractors know that contract changes can be frustrating business. Changes can be unilateral or bilateral. They can stress a contractor’s finances. They can delay the overall project. And they can result in animosity between the agency and a contractor.

Fortunately, GAO has shined some light on the problems in the contract change process. Indeed, in a recent report, GAO concluded that agencies, particularly the Army Corps of Engineers and GSA, need to develop better systems to collect data about changes in construction contracts.

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GAO: Agencies Can’t Blindly Rely on Adjectival Ratings to Make Award Decisions

In evaluating proposals, an agency will sometimes use “adjectival ratings” (e.g., Excellent, Good, Acceptable) to describe its assessment of a proposal or portions of a proposal. But, importantly, an agency cannot evade its responsibility to reasonably evaluate proposals–based on the articulated evaluation criteria–by deferring solely to the assigned adjectival ratings.

In other words, if the agency doesn’t perform a true qualitative assessment, but instead relies on mere labels to make its ultimate award decision, GAO will likely slap the agency’s hand.

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