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A New Bid Protest Timeliness Trap: Pre-Award Laches

On this blog, we frequently discuss the various timeliness traps that can undermine bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). A recent bid protest decision from the Court of Federal Claims addresses a...more

5/23/2018  /  Bid Protests , GAO , Laches , SBA , Small Business

Bad Faith and Biased Procurement Officials (Post-Award Protest Primer #16)

We previously have referred in passing to Government bad faith as a protest ground that almost never is worth raising. Today, we’ll address this rarely successful protest ground and discuss why it’s almost always a loser, as...more

5/16/2018  /  Bad Faith , GAO , Procurement Guidelines

Warning: Possible Delays Ahead New SAM Requirement for Notarized Letter

All government contractors must have an active registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) to do business with the government. As of March 22, 2018, SAM requires users registering a new business entity to “provide...more

4/24/2018  /  Acquisitions , Federal Contractors , SAM

Procurement Integrity Act Violations (Post-Award Protest Primer #15)

Offerors should, and generally do, carefully guard the confidentiality of their bid and proposal information. And agencies that receive that information generally are careful to prevent its improper release, much as they...more

GAO to Implement Bid Protest E-Filing on May 1, 2018 (Along with Some Other Changes)

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will cut the ribbon on its Electronic Protest Docketing System (EPDS) on May 1, 2018, according to a final rule published Monday (at 83 Fed. Reg. 13817). The electronic filing...more

Bait-And-Switch And Unavailable Key Personnel (Post-Award Protest Primer #14)

The bait-and-switch in the salesman’s world involves enticing a prospective customer with an unbelievably good deal, only to switch it at the last moment with a bargain that is considerably less attractive to the buyer, and...more

3/26/2018  /  Bid Protests , GAO

The Silent No: Initial Adverse Agency Action Can Simply Be No Action at All

Coming on the heels of a decision presenting two timeliness reminders, which we addressed in “GAO Presents a Study in Timeliness Traps,” the GAO once again issued a decision last week presenting a third timeliness trap of...more

3/20/2018  /  Bid Protests , GAO , Solicitation

FCA Materiality May Return to High Court

In Escobar, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a defendant could be found liable under the False Claims Act for submitting impliedly false claims for payment. Under the implied certification theory of liability, a claim for...more

GAO Presents a Study in Timeliness Traps

In a decision released on Friday, February 23, 2018, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided further demonstration of the bid protest – timeliness traps that may ensnare the wary and unwary alike. In Savannah...more

2/27/2018  /  Bid Protests , Federal Contractors , GAO

New Debriefing Rules in Effect for DOD Contractors

As we discussed in an earlier post about the NDAA for FY 2018, one of the most significant changes with respect to procurement issues may be related to the DOD’s conduct of debriefings. Perhaps missed in the discussions of a...more

Pilot Testing of GAO’s New Filing System Currently Underway

Earlier this month, the GAO announced that its long-awaited electronic protest docketing system (EPDS) is now operational and undergoing limited pilot testing with certain designated protests filed since February 1. EPDS is...more

2/15/2018  /  Bid Protests , GAO

The Government Is Shut Down: What About My Protest?

With the 2018 Government shutdown entering the work week, any contractors with ongoing or potential protests may be wondering what the effect of the shutdown will be on the protest process....more

Contractors Should Prepare For Potential Shutdown

As Congress and the Administration appear to be careening toward a potential government shutdown – whether on Friday January 19 or once another short-term continuing resolution expires – it is a good time for government...more

Snowmen In August: Strict Compliance And Government Waiver of Contract Requirements

The Government “can engage a contractor to make snowmen in August, if [it spells] it out clearly [in a contract].” Rixon Electronics, Inc. v. United States, 536 F.2d 1345, 1351 (Ct. Cl. 1976). And the contractor generally...more

DOD Protest Reform: Initial Thoughts on the Congressionally-Mandated RAND Report

The RAND Corporation’s much-awaited report assessing bid protests of Department of Defense (DOD) procurements is out. The report fulfills a Congressional mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2017...more

Organizational Conflicts of Interest (Post-Award Protest Primer #13)

Today we’ll consider Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCIs) as a ground of protest. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) defines an OCI as a situation where “because of other activities or relationships with other...more

Discussions Vs. Clarifications Vs. Communications, And Agency Discretion (Post-Award Protest Primer #12)

In our last post, we looked at the most common protest grounds related to discussions: lack of meaningful discussions, misleading discussions, and unequal discussions. Today we’ll discuss how discussions differ from...more

What Contractors Need to Know about the Proposed FY 2018 NDAA

On November 9, 2017, Congress released its conference report on the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA coming out of the conference committee contains numerous provisions that would affect government...more

Non-Meaningful, Misleading, and Unequal Discussions

Today’s post is the first of two installments on protest grounds related to discussions. This post will focus on the requirement that discussions be meaningful and not misleading, and treat offerors equally. The next post...more

Unstated Evaluation Criteria And Waived Solicitation Requirements (Bid Protest Primer #10)

This week we’ll discuss two protest arguments that are, in some ways, two sides of the same coin: unstated evaluation criteria and waived or relaxed solicitation requirements. In each, the focus of the protest is on what...more

10/25/2017  /  Ambiguous , Bid Protests , GAO , Solicitation

FY 2018 Forecasts: Cloudy Skies for False Claims and Storms on the Protest Horizon?

This is the first in a short series of forecasts from our Government Contracts partners on things to watch for in government contracts in Fiscal Year 2018. For more in-depth discussions of current events and trends, please...more

Latent Ambiguities and Non-Apparent Solicitation Defects (Post-Award Protest Primer #9)

Having discussed protest grounds you cannot or should not raise, we turn now to the first in a series of grounds that could result in a sustained protest: Latent Ambiguities and Non-Apparent Solicitation Defects....more

9/28/2017  /  Ambiguous , Bid Protests , GAO , Solicitation

Substantively Non-Protestable Issues (Post-Award Protest Primer #8)

In our last post, we discussed a few procedural rules that can exclude an otherwise meritorious ground from protest. There are also a number of substantive issues that the GAO’s rules exclude from review. See 4 C.F.R. §...more

Procedurally Non-Protestable Issues (Post-Award Protest Primer #7)

Before diving into the various protest grounds that may result in a sustained protest at the GAO, let’s look at some sure losers. These are issues that are not protestable and would likely result in a quick dismissal. This...more

Stays of Contract Award and Performance (Pre-Award Protest Primer #6)

Today we’ll discuss stays of award and performance during the pendency of a bid protest. There are two kinds of protest stays: pre-award stays and post-award stays. Although the former are outside the scope of this primer,...more

8/17/2017  /  Bid Protests , CICA , COFC , GAO
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