DOD’s Secret Contract Awards During the Government Shutdown Undermine CICA

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The U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) has announced that it will continue to award large contracts during the ongoing federal government shutdown, but that it will not “publicly announce” the contract awards until the government shutdown ends. This policy may have serious practical implications for both unsuccessful offerors and awardees. When combined with the closure of the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) during the government shutdown, the policy undermines the protections afforded by the Competition in Contracting Act (“CICA”).

DOD’S POLICY DECISION -

On October 3, DOD announced its policy that it would not be able to publicly announce the awards until the government is back up and running. According to DOD, the “personnel that support the announcement” of contract awards were considered “nonessential personnel” and furloughed. DOD plans to make “one big announcement” of all contracts awarded during the shutdown after the government reopens.

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