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Nick Wakeman

GAO dismisses first post-sunset protest

The Government Accountability Office has dismissed its first protest because it now lacks the authority to hear most civilian task order protests.

The dismissal decision is pretty straightforward. The contract is a civilian one, and the buyer is a civilian agency. GAO has yet to rule on any of the protests that cross between civilian and defense agencies.

GAO still has jurisdiction to hear protests involving defense task orders, but the question is still pending whether they can hear a protest when it involves a defense buyer using a civilian contract such as GSA Alliant or OASIS.

In the decision released today, Ryan Consulting Group was protesting a task order awarded to 22nd Century Team LLC for a Housing and Urban Development Department task order under an NIH task order contract.

Ryan had argued that GAO should hear the protest because the award was made before GAO’s jurisdiction expired Sept. 30. The protest wasn’t filed until Oct. 14.

GAO declined to grandfather in the protest saying it did not have the authority to do so.

Still pending at GAO is about a dozen protests that involve a civilian contract and a defense customer. The agencies have asked GAO to dismiss the protests because a civilian contract is being used.

It is expected that GAO will issue a decision in the next week or so that will either dismiss the protests or allow them to move forward.

Many indications are that the protests will be dismissed. And some of them are quite large, valued at $200 million and above.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 07, 2016 at 1:02 PM


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