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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Missed amendment turns GAO decision upside down

The Government Accountability Office told GSA to rework a solicitation to clarify past performance requirements and let all competitors resubmit bids, but no one noticed this crucial detail: GSA had already made the change.

GSA had awarded a task order under its Alliant Small Business contract to SBD Alliant, then losing bidder AlliantCorps filed a protest. The main complaint was that GSA allowed SBD to submit an incomplete past performance record, known as a CPARS.

That violated the terms of the task order solicitation. GAO agreed and sustained AlliantCorps protest, telling GSA it needed to amend the solicitation and allow bidders to resubmit.

But GSA had already made the change to the solicitation that would allow a partial CPARS report.

Everyone involved -- GSA, AlliantCorps, and SBD Alliant -- forgot about Amendment 3, or at least page 2 of the amendment, according to GAO’s reconsideration decision.

Not until after GAO’s decision did GSA realize they had already made the change in the solicitation that GAO was recommending.

In their request for reconsideration, GSA and SBD Alliant brought that amendment to GAO’s attention for the first time.

GAO found that all three parties -- GSA, SBD Alliant and AlliantCorps -- were guilty of missing the amendment the first time.

“It is now clear from the record before us that all three parties (i.e., the protester, agency, and intervenor) overlooked the text found on the second page of amendment 3 that removed the restrictive provision from the solicitation. It is also clear that none of these parties provided to our Office--or made arguments based on—the complete text of the amendment,” GAO wrote in its reconsideration decision.

If the amendment had been part of the record during the protest, the outcome might have been avoided, GAO said.

With the reconsideration decision, GAO said it was amending its recommendations on the sustained decision and removing the request that GSA re-open the procurement.

But GAO did not reconsider its decision. It still stands as a sustained protest. Because it was based on the information it had at the time, GAO says it made the right decision.

Now it is a sustained protest with no recommendations for action.

In other words, the task order for network sustainment and deployment support services for the Defense Health Agency remains with SBD Alliant.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Aug 27, 2019 at 1:14 PM

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