Protests to the DOL and GAO Must Be Presented With All the Information Required by Statute

A bid protest must cite the appropriate statute that is the basis for the claim.

The federal government has a bid protest protocol that allows contractors to challenge bids they believe were incorrectly awarded. The case discussed by Timothy A. Furin in the Federal Construction Contracting Blog related to a decision by the General Accountability Office (GAO) to dismiss an appeal by LS3, Inc. because the protestor’s appeal did not specify what procurement statute or procedure had been violated. Matter of LS3 Inc., File No. B-415635.2, November 2, 2018

“LS3 alleged that the Department of Labor unreasonably delayed completing its corrective action in response to a previous protest filed by LS3.”

LS3 and BruckEdwards submitted bids for a Department of Labor security center. The GAO “determined that LS3’s quotation was unacceptable because it was unclear whether LS3’s fixed price included all services required under the PWS.” (GAO, Matter of LS3) BruckEdwards was awarded the contract.

LS3 protested the award and the DOL and the GAO agreed to “reexamine the evaluation and make a new award decision…Our Office dismissed LS3’s initial protest as academic.” ibid

LS3 filed clarifications with the DOL. Several months later, LS3 filed another protest, claiming that the DOL had failed to expedite a response to their initial protest and “requesting that the agency expedite the corrective action.” Ibid

The GAO dismissed this protest for the following reason:

“Although LS3 objected to the length of time that it has taken DOL to complete its corrective its proposed corrective action, LS3 has not identified any violation of procurement law or regulation by the agency…In this respect, the protestor has not alleged that the agency was required to have completed its corrective action by an earlier date, asserted that any alleged delay is contrary to law or regulation, or alleged any bad faith by agency personnel.” Ibid

LS3’s protest may have had merit, but due to its failure to provide the documentation of a statute or regulation required for a protest their case was dismissed. This is another example that demonstrates how important it is to comply with every single requirement when filing any legal document with the federal government.

Sources—

The GAO Reaffirms That a Bid Protest Must Allege a Violation of a Procurement Statute or Regulation, Timothy A. Furin, Federal Construction Contracting Blog, November 9, 2018

Matter of LS3, File No. B-415635.2, U.S. General Accountability Office, November 2, 2018.