Many believed that the Government Accountability Office’s (“GAO’s”) jurisdiction over bid protests of civilian agency task and delivery order awards valued at over $10 million expired on May 27, 2011. This belief was based on the fact that certain broadened jurisdiction over civilian agency task and delivery order protests granted by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (“2008 Act”) expired on that date. With the expiration of the broadened jurisdictional grant found in the 2008 Act, many thus contended that a contractor would not be able to protest a civilian agency task or delivery order award at the GAO unless the protest alleged that the order exceeded the scope, period or maximum value of the underlying contract. Protests of Department of Defense task and delivery order awards valued at over $10 million were not similarly affected because Congress extended the GAO’s exclusive, broadened jurisdiction over these protests through the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.
The House of Representatives and the Senate introduced bills in March 2011 to level the playing field by providing the GAO with exclusive jurisdiction over civilian agency task and delivery order awards valued at over $10 million. See H.R. 899; S. 498. The Senate recently passed its version of the bill. The bill must still pass the House and be signed by the President before it becomes law. But, the GAO did not wait. Rather, based on a plain meaning of the 2008 Act, the GAO recently held that it now possesses jurisdiction over bid protests of civilian agency task and delivery order awards. See Technatomy Corp., B-405130, June 14, 2011.
The GAO provided the following rationale for its decision...
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