2012 FEDCON Conference        Bid Protests           Presented By:          Peter J. Marino      Jackson Wyatt Moore, Jr. ...
www.smithlaw.com                   Bid Protest Trends - GAO    Actions                2011      2010      2009            ...
www.smithlaw.com         The What? “Bid Protest” Defined    “[A] [written] action by an interested party objecting to    a...
www.smithlaw.com    Who Can Protest? An interested party…      An interested party is an “actual or prospective      bidde...
www.smithlaw.com                     . . . A bidder….    • Did you submit a bid?    • Subcontractor to a disappointed bidd...
www.smithlaw.com              … and a Potential Winner    • Protester must show it had a substantial chance of      receiv...
www.smithlaw.com    Who Can Protest? … Two-Time Protestors    • Offeror who failed to participate in original protest     ...
www.smithlaw.com                     When? Quickly!    • Timeframes very short. 4 C.F.R. § 21.2.       – Improper solicita...
www.smithlaw.com          What, Part Two? Protest Basis    • What is your basis?       – Specification deficiencies.      ...
www.smithlaw.com           What, Part Two? Protest Basis     IDIQ : Agency’s Decision to Use     • FAR 16.504(c) – prefere...
www.smithlaw.com           What, Part Two? Protest Basis     • IDIQ: Task Orders - Protest Power Limited. Solute       Con...
www.smithlaw.com                           Where?     Non-Size Protests     • Agency.     • Government Accountability Offi...
www.smithlaw.com                  Where? – The Agency     • Least formal, least expensive.     • Protester can request an ...
www.smithlaw.com                        Where? – GAO     • Procedures: 31 U.S.C. 3551; 4 CFR 21.     • Strict timing deadl...
www.smithlaw.com                       Where? – GAO     • A GAO Protest Can Stay Contract:        – Protest before award p...
www.smithlaw.com          Where? Court of Federal Claims     • Only court forum to pursue a preaward or postaward       pr...
www.smithlaw.com          Where? Court of Federal Claims     • No automatic stay.     • Depositions, discovery is allowed....
www.smithlaw.com                  Where? Size Protests     • Protest filed with contracting officer. CO will forward to   ...
www.smithlaw.com                 Where? Size Protests     • SBA has 10 days to make size determination and notify       co...
www.smithlaw.com             Why? Business Considerations     •   Get the contract.     •   Make a point.     •   Keep con...
Questions?  Jackson W. Moore       Peter J. Marinojmoore@smithlaw.com   pmarino@smithlaw.com    (919) 821-6688       (919)...
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Bid Protests Briefing

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Bid Protests Briefing

  1. 1. 2012 FEDCON Conference Bid Protests Presented By: Peter J. Marino Jackson Wyatt Moore, Jr. Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP (919) 821-6688 pmarino@smithlaw.com jmoore@smithlaw.com www.smithlaw.com ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.
  2. 2. www.smithlaw.com Bid Protest Trends - GAO Actions 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 Cases Filed 2,353 2,269 1,989 1,652 1,411 Merit Decisions 417 441 335 291 335 Sustain Rate 16% 19% 18% 21% 27% Effectiveness Rate 42% 42% 45% 42% 38% Source: Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/586259.pdf ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.2
  3. 3. www.smithlaw.com The What? “Bid Protest” Defined “[A] [written] action by an interested party objecting to a solicitation by a Federal agency for bids or proposals for a proposed contract or to a proposed award or the award of a contract or any alleged violation of statute or regulation in connection with a procurement or a proposed procurement.” 28 U.S.C. §1491(b)(1); FAR 33.101. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.3
  4. 4. www.smithlaw.com Who Can Protest? An interested party… An interested party is an “actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of the contract or failure to award the contract.” 31 U.S.C. § 3551(2); 4 C.F.R. § 21. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.4
  5. 5. www.smithlaw.com . . . A bidder…. • Did you submit a bid? • Subcontractor to a disappointed bidder cannot protest. Eagle Design & Management, Inc., No. 04-1200C (Court of Federal Claims, 2004) • Spin-offs? ITT, B-406405 (2012) • Joint Ventures? ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.5
  6. 6. www.smithlaw.com … and a Potential Winner • Protester must show it had a substantial chance of receiving the award but for the agency’s error in the procurement process. Rex Service Corp. v. United States, 448 F.3d 1305 (Fed. Cir. 2006) • Were you eligible to win? Pro South Encon, B-405267, B-405268 (2011). • “Next in Line”? Earth Resources Technology, Inc., B- 406659 (2012) ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.6
  7. 7. www.smithlaw.com Who Can Protest? … Two-Time Protestors • Offeror who failed to participate in original protest generally cannot protest corrective action in response to the original protest. • However, that protestor can still protest the final award that results from the corrective action. North Wind, Inc., B-404880.4 (2011) ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.7
  8. 8. www.smithlaw.com When? Quickly! • Timeframes very short. 4 C.F.R. § 21.2. – Improper solicitation? Protest before proposal deadline. – Other protests? Generally 10 days after basis of protest known – Size Protests? 5 working days after bid opening or after receipt of notification of awardee (for RFPs and RFQs) • Timeframes to request debriefing very short. – 3 days after notice of exclusion from competition or notice of contract award. 48 C.F.R. §15.505. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.8
  9. 9. www.smithlaw.com What, Part Two? Protest Basis • What is your basis? – Specification deficiencies. – Winner not qualified for 8(a) or other set-aside. – Award given to non-responsive bidder. • Failure to follow directions. Irving Burton, B-401983.3 (2010) • Evaluation deficiencies (unequal treatment, etc.). • Conflicts of interest in procurement process/OCI. • Technical merits (hard, if agency has explained reasoning). ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.9
  10. 10. www.smithlaw.com What, Part Two? Protest Basis IDIQ : Agency’s Decision to Use • FAR 16.504(c) – preference for MACs • Court of Federal Claims has upheld use of MACs/IDIQ’s for construction services. Tyler Construction Group, No. 2008-5177 (July 25, 2009) • Agency must document a decision to overcome MAC preference. Information Ventures, Inc., B-403321 (Sept. 10, 2010) ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.10
  11. 11. www.smithlaw.com What, Part Two? Protest Basis • IDIQ: Task Orders - Protest Power Limited. Solute Consulting, No. 12-37C (Ct. Fed. Claims, Mar. 13, 2012). Exceptions: • Protests that exceed scope, period of maximum value of IDIQ contract may be protested, regardless of value of the order • Other grounds only if task order value exceeds $10M. Kevcon, B-406418 (Mar. 7, 2012) Standard: “Material difference” between work in task order versus work in contract. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.11
  12. 12. www.smithlaw.com Where? Non-Size Protests • Agency. • Government Accountability Office. • Court of Federal Claims. Size Protests • Agency, who forwards to the SBA. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.12
  13. 13. www.smithlaw.com Where? – The Agency • Least formal, least expensive. • Protester can request an independent review of the merits of its agency protest at a level above the CO. 55.103(d)(4). • Note: agency protest extends deadline for GAO protest filing, but not agency review of the protest. 33.103(d)(5); 4 C.F.R. 21.2(a)(3). • Format Requirements: FAR 33.103(d). ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.13
  14. 14. www.smithlaw.com Where? – GAO • Procedures: 31 U.S.C. 3551; 4 CFR 21. • Strict timing deadlines. – Comply or risk dismissal. – File before GAO’s close of business, or the protest will be dated the next day (important for pre-award protests). – File Before bid opening for solicitation improprieties. – Within 10 days after protest basis known for any other basis. – Within 10 days after debriefing (when requested). ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.14
  15. 15. www.smithlaw.com Where? – GAO • A GAO Protest Can Stay Contract: – Protest before award prohibits agency from awarding contract. – Protest within 10 calendar days after award or within five days after a debriefing date is offered to the protester, the Contracting Officer must suspend contract performance or terminate the contract. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.15
  16. 16. www.smithlaw.com Where? Court of Federal Claims • Only court forum to pursue a preaward or postaward protest. 28 U.S.C. 1491(b). • Party can file with COFC after GAO protest, or instead of the GAO protest. • COFC not bound by GAO decision, but it is given deference. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.16
  17. 17. www.smithlaw.com Where? Court of Federal Claims • No automatic stay. • Depositions, discovery is allowed. • Standard: A “significant error” in the procurement process resulted in “competitive prejudice” to the protestor. Alfa Laval Separation, Inc. v. United States, 175 F.3d 1365 (Fed. Cir. 1999) ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.17
  18. 18. www.smithlaw.com Where? Size Protests • Protest filed with contracting officer. CO will forward to SBA. 13 CFR 121.1003. • A Business is “other than small” for a particular size standard set out in the procurement. 13 C.F.R. 121.1001 through 121.1007. • Protest must be in writing specify reason and present evidence for claiming business is “other than small”. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.18
  19. 19. www.smithlaw.com Where? Size Protests • SBA has 10 days to make size determination and notify contracting officer unless the SBA obtains more time. FAR 19.302. • SBA may ask challenged business for more information; failing to provide may result in an “other than small” determination. 13 CFR 121.1008(d). • Results of size determinations are entered into SBA database. ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.19
  20. 20. www.smithlaw.com Why? Business Considerations • Get the contract. • Make a point. • Keep contract in the interim if you are an incumbent. • Do you really want to sue your (potential) client? ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.20
  21. 21. Questions? Jackson W. Moore Peter J. Marinojmoore@smithlaw.com pmarino@smithlaw.com (919) 821-6688 (919) 821-6607 www.smithlaw.com ©2012 SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & JERNIGAN, L.L.P.
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