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Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, Crowell attorneys Christian Curran and Zachary Schroeder discuss a recent GAO case (K&K Industries, Inc., B-420422; B-420422.2, March 7,

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, Crowell attorneys discuss their recent “Feature Comment,” published in The Government Contractor, discussing the recent Court of Federal

Contractors that encounter problematic solicitation provisions have many avenues to address them, such as industry days, questions and answers, and even communications directly with an agency.  However, the recent Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) decision in Science and Technology Corporation serves as an important reminder that contractors must be thoughtful about when and how they communicate directly with an agency.  Depending on the specific content of their communications, contractors can unwittingly create a timeliness trap that will shorten their deadline to file a GAO protest.

On September 13, Science and Technology Corporation (“STC”) sent a “letter of concern” to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) expressing dissatisfaction with a key personnel requirement in a particular solicitation, and requesting that the requirement be amended.  NOAA responded the next day, denying the request and noting that the requirement was “an important aspect” of the solicitation.

On October 1—which was 17 days after NOAA’s rejection, but still prior to the due date for receipt of proposals—STC filed a pre-award protest at GAO challenging the solicitation requirement.  Ordinarily, a pre-award protest challenging solicitation requirements is timely so long as it is filed before the deadline for receipt of proposals.  See 4 C.F.R. § 21.2(a)(1) (“Protests based upon alleged improprieties in a solicitation which are apparent prior to bid opening or the time set for receipt of initial proposals shall be filed prior to bid opening or the time set for receipt of initial proposals. . . .”).  However, GAO dismissed STC’s protest as untimely, concluding that STC’s September 13 letter constituted an agency-level protest, and holding that STC was required to protest at GAO no later than 10 days after NOAA’s September 14 rejection.  See 4 C.F.R. § 21.2(a)(3) (“If a timely agency-level protest was previously filed, any subsequent protest to GAO must be filed within 10 days of actual or constructive knowledge of initial adverse agency action. . . .”).

Continue Reading Letter to Agency About Solicitation Requirement Creates Pre-Award Timeliness Trap

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Christian Curran and Olivia Lynch discuss a recent decision from GAO regarding the interplay between price reasonableness and price

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Olivia Lynch, Rob Sneckenberg, and Christian Curran discuss past performance issues and key cases from 2021.

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In Aero Spray, Inc. d/b/a Dauntless Air v. U.S., the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissed a protest filed by Aero Spray, an awardee of an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (“IDIQ”) contract for Department of the Interior plane-based firefighting services.  Aero Spray’s protest challenged the agency’s award of IDIQ contracts to two other companies, alleging that their planes did not comply with the solicitation’s required firefighting configuration.

Aero Spray argued that despite being an awardee itself, it had standing to protest the additional awards because they increased competition for awards of future task orders competed amongst the IDIQ holders, to Aero Spray’s detriment.  The Court disagreed, holding that Aero Spray’s protest related to the award of the IDIQ contracts—not future task orders—and that Aero Spray “already . . . won the only contract award to which it could possibly be entitled.”  In so holding, the Court expressly agreed with the Government Accountability Office, which has held that that “an awardee, by definition, is not an actual or prospective offeror,” and that “[d]ue to the nature of IDIQ contracts, . . . an awardee has no legally cognizable expectation of receiving future task orders” but only a “guaranteed a minimum quantity of orders . . . and a fair opportunity to compete for future task orders.”  Aegis Def. Servs., LLC, B-412755, Mar. 25, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 98.  The Court also rejected the reasoning in National Air Cargo Group, Inc. v. U.S., 126 Fed. Cl. 281 (2016), which allowed an awardee to protest additional IDIQ awards due to the potential impact on future task order competitions, and distinguished PAE-Parsons Global Logistics Services., LLC v. U.S., 145 Fed. Cl. 194 (2019), and Sirius Federal, LLC v. U.S., 153 Fed. Cl. 410 (2021), which noted that an awardee can have standing to challenge other awards under the same procurement where those other awards are distinct from (e.g., more valuable than) the awardee’s own.
Continue Reading Court of Federal Claims Refuses to Hear Protest from IDIQ Awardee

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Rob Sneckenberg, Olivia Lynch, and Christian Curran discuss considerations and best practices when the Government inadvertently releases competition-sensitive information.

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Christian Curran and Olivia Lynch discuss a proposed DFARS rule for enhanced debriefings.

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On May 20, 2021, the FAR Council issued a proposed Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) rule on post-award debriefings that largely codifies—and in a number of ways bolsters—the existing enhanced post-award debriefing rules established by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) March 22, 2018 Class Deviation on Enhanced Postaward Debriefing Rights.  The proposed rule requires

Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, hosts Christian Curran and Olivia Lynch discuss a recent Court of Federal Claims decision with interesting implications for awardee standing.