If you google “GAO discussions,” you will likely see a multitude of results talking about “meaningful discussions.” Source selection authorities (SSA) are given a large amount of discretion beyond that. Despite the high level of discretion SSAs have, there are still certain boundaries that they must work within. These boundaries are premised on the fairness principle that is woven throughout the FAR and other procurement rules. In particular, the process of discussions must fit within these boundaries. Discussions allow all offerors that are still being considered for award an equal opportunity to address deficiencies, weaknesses, and adverse past performance information. But what if the contracting agency engages in discussions with only one offeror, who also happens to be the awardee?Continue reading
GAO protests typically address issues that occur before contract award. For example, GAO will review a solicitation’s terms. It will also review an agency’s evaluation of proposals submitted in connection with a solicitation.
But as a general rule, GAO won’t insert itself into disputes arising after award, which fall under the contract administration umbrella. But there is an exception–and an important one . . . one that all federal contractors should be aware of.Continue reading