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In MCR Federal, LLC, B-401954.2 (Aug. 17, 2010), GAO denied protester’s challenge to the agency’s decision, in the context of taking corrective action, to waive organizational conflicts of interest for two offerors. The agency – CIA – concluded that executing a waiver was in the government’s best interest, because the pool of qualified contractors was so small that preclusion of an offeror (due to OCIs) would limit competition.

In denying the protest, GAO noted that “[w]here a procurement decision – such as whether an OCI should be waived – is committed by statute or regulation to the discretion of agency officials, our Office will not make an independent determination of the matter.” GAO found that the agency complied with FAR 9.503, including approval by the agency head’s designee and a written determination setting forth (i) the extent of the conflict and (ii) explanation for why application of the OCI rules would not be in the government’s interests in the particular procurement.