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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

How not to make a bait-and-switch claim

If you are going to make a bait-and-switch allegation as part of your bid protest, you better have the evidence to back it up.

That’s the clear message in a Government Accountability Office decision denying a protest by Allied Technology Group.

The company was an incumbent on a Customs and Border Protection contract for support services to its Office of Technology, Innovation and Acquisition.

When MacAulay-Brown won the recompete with a $53.9 million bid, ATG, now part of ManTech International, filed a protest challenging the technical evaluation and best-value tradeoff, which is pretty standard.

But the company also claimed MacB used a bait-and-switch scheme, and that is what caught my eye.

GAO didn’t buy any of it.

In its decision, GAO says that to establish that a bait-and-switch occurred, a protester must show that a company knowing or negligently represented that it would rely on specific personnel that it didn’t reasonably expected to furnish. The agency also has to rely on that representation in making that decision.

Well, according to GAO, ATG couldn’t provide any evidence that MacB made those representations. Its bait-and-switch allegation was triggered when MacB started recruiting incumbent personnel after the award. But GAO said that doing that wasn’t unusual or improper.

“ATG otherwise points to nothing in the record indicating that MacB’s proposed key personnel were unavailable, unwilling, or unlikely to perform under the task order when MacB submitted its proposal,” GAO wrote.

ATG didn’t respond to a request for comment on this post.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 17, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Reader Comments

Fri, Mar 18, 2016

I thought the main part of this decision had to do with the fact that their GSA schedule has expired and so the option periods could not be exercised.

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