A company that is nonresponsive to an Invitation for Bid (IFB), or any solicitation for that matter, will usually be rejected for consideration for award. All too often, when a nonresponsive finding is made, there is no coming back.
A recent decision from GAO shines light on what it means to be “nonresponsive” and “not responsible.” GAO confirmed that SAM registration submitting annual certifications are matters of responsibility, not responsiveness.
What is the difference? Let’s look at the two terms and their practical effect on a company’s ability to cure deficiencies.
Contractor responsibility is to be considered before every federal contract award, but what about task orders issued under an FSS contract? Are contractors still subject to responsibility inquiries when competing for orders?
According to GAO, the answer is, “yes.”
A contracting agency is not required withhold a contract award so that the SBA has more time to process a Certificate of Competency, even when the SBA itself asks for an extension.
The Government Accountability Office decided recently that it was reasonable for an agency to move ahead with an award while the SBA was still in the process of determining the competency of a small business that lost out on the contract.
The GAO has sustained a second protest based upon FedBid’s suspension of a contractor from its system.
For the second time in less than one week, the GAO held that the contractor’s suspension from FedBid–and resulting inability to bid on a contract–was improper because the matter was not referred to the SBA under the SBA’s Certificate of Competency procedures.
The suspension of a small business’s FedBid account was improper because the matter was not referred to the SBA under the SBA’s certificate of competency procedures.
In an important decision for small businesses participating in reverse auctions, the GAO recently held that FedBid could not properly suspend a small business’s user account for a supposed lack of “business integrity,” thereby causing the small business to be ineligible to bid on a federal solicitation, without a referral to the SBA.
A procuring agency erred by essentially assigning a small business a failing past performance score without referring the matter to the SBA.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the assignment of a failing past performance score under a past/fail system constituted a non-responsibility determination–and that the SBA was entitled to review the agency’s determination under the SBA’s Certificate of Competency procedures.
The SBA’s Certificate of Competency procedures cannot be used to cure a small business’s incomplete proposal.
In a recent bid protest decision, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held that the procuring agency could not lawfully cure a firm’s omission of mandatory proposal information by submitting the matter to the SBA for a Certificate of Competency.