The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently opened the door for government agencies to use their waiver authority under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Subpart 9.5, during a protest to render academic a protester’s claim of potential organizational conflicts of interest (OCI). AT&T Government Solutions, Inc., B-407720, B-407720.2, Jan. 30, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ __. Although waivers of OCIs under FAR Subpart 9.5 are not unusual, it is uncommon for an agency to waive an OCI during the pendency of a protest, as the Marine Corps did in AT&T Government Solutions, Inc.

AT&T’S ALLEGATIONS OF POTENTIAL OCIS -

On July 3, 2012, the Marine Corps issued a request for proposals to contractors holding a Navy SeaPort-e indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract for a task order to provide IT networking support services for the Marine Corps’ secret Internet protocol router network (SIPRNet) at five Marine Corps installations. After receipt and evaluation of proposals, the Marine Corps awarded the task order to Jacobs Technology, Inc. (“Jacobs”) on September 27, 2012.

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