"Give Me Your Huddled Masses": COFC Still Beckons To Protesters

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims' (“COFC”) decision in Jacobs Technology, Inc. v. United States, No. 11-180C, 2011 WL 2044581 (Fed. Cl. May 26, 2011) (“Jacobs Technology”) does double duty, affirming once again the availability of the COFC as a convenient forum for aggrieved offerors challenging a resolicitation and providing us a useful primer on the perennial issues of jurisdiction, ripeness, standing, and agency discretion in the context of preaward protests.

In Jacobs Technology the COFC considered a United States Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM” or “the Agency”) competitive acquisition in which plaintiff Jacobs Technology, Inc. (“Jacobs”) had prevailed over IBM Global Business Services (“IBM”), for the work under a solicitation for an information technology services management contract. IBM filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), which sustained the protest and recommended that the Agency amend the solicitation and allow offerors to submit revised proposals. The Agency understandably acted on that advice and Jacobs, understandably offended, filed a protest with the COFC challenging the Agency’s actions. The Government then filed, inter alia, a motion to dismiss, arguing: (1) lack of jurisdiction; (2) ripeness; (3) lack of standing; and (4) that the Agency action was “committed to Agency discretion” as a matter of law.

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