Limitation On Subcontracting Information Was Permissible “Clarification,” Says GAO

A procuring agency did not engage in impermissible discussions by allowing a small business to verify its intent to comply with the applicable limitation on subcontracting.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the information regarding the small business’s compliance with the subcontracting limits was a permissible “clarification,” and did not require the agency to open discussions with all offerors in the competitive range.

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Discussions: “Significant Weakness” Terminology Not Required

In discussions, a procuring agency is not required to explicitly inform an offeror that its proposal contains a significant weakness, so long as the agency sufficiently identifies the area of concern.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the agency had adequately informed the offeror of the agency’s concerns, even though the agency did not specifically identify those concerns as a “significant weakness.”

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