posted notices on FedBizOpps.gov, the agency has not given contractors proper notice, according to several recent protest decisions of the Government Accountability Office
In one case, the Army issued via ASFI a significant solicitation amendment
one week before the due date for bids, but for technical reasons the amendment was not posted on FedBizOpps.gov until 7 PM the night before bids
were due. GAO concluded that the Army did not give vendors sufficient FedBizOpps.gov notice, and recommended that the Army reopen the solicitation and set a new due date for bids.
In another case, a contractor learned about a DLA opportunity only after seeing in FedBizOpps.gov DLA’s notice of a purchase order award. After the contractor protested to GAO the agency’s failure to give FedBizOpps.gov notice of the solicitation itself, DLA claimed that the contractor should have seen notice of the solicitation posted on DIBBS and therefore the contractor’s protest was too late. GAO disagreed, holding that the contractor’s protest clock
began only after DLA posted notice of the award on FedBizOpps.gov.
Contractors surprised by agency contract awards should not let an agency claim they should have known about the opportunity. Notice of a potential business opportunity is at the heart of full and open competition. Notice of an
agency’s award of that business opportunity is at the heart of a contractor’s right to protest
Terrence O’Connor is the Director of Government Contracts for Berenzweig Leonard, LLP, a business law firm in the D.C. region. Terry can be reached at [email protected].