We’ve warned you before against relying on informal, or oral, directives from a Contracting Officer; get it in writing!   A recent case before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals reminds us that contractors also need to be wary about who from the government is giving those directives.

In EEC International, ASBCA No. 55781

By: Michael H. Payne

Government contractors frequently use incorrect terminology to describe a solicitation. For example, clients often call me and ask why they were not awarded a contract even though they had submitted the lowest bid. The first thing that I ask is whether the solicitation was a Request for Proposals ("RFP"), or an

Join the Federal Construction Group of Cohen, Seglias as it presents, Unraveling the Mysteries of Federal Construction Contracting, at two different locations.

Dates/Locations:
March 29, 2011 – Hyatt Regency Savannah, GA
March 31, 2011 – Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando, FL

Time:
8:00a.m.-1:00p.m.

Cost:
$195.00 per person and $95 for each additional person

By: Michael H. Payne

There is an old saying that “you win some, and you lose some.” Well, if you are a construction contractor who competes in the world of Multiple Award Task Order Contracting (“MATOC”), you usually lose. Under sealed bidding, which dominated the procurement of federal construction for many years, a contractor who

By: Lane F. Kelman

As opportunities in the private sector remain, at best, stagnant, the public sector has become increasingly competitive. The desire to gain a competitive advantage, however, must be tempered by compliance with ethical obligations. When attempting to gain a competitive advantage, it is crucial to avoid the appearance that your advantage is

A recent GAO decision highlights the need for offerors to fully understand a Request for Proposals (RFP) and to pay close attention to the details when preparing a proposal in response to an RFP.  In C. Martin Company, Inc., the agency rejected the protestor’s proposal, determining that it was technically unacceptable.  The agency discovered that the offeror had referenced outdated regulations, standards, and procedures.  Some of the references were to processes and standards that had been obsolete for at least three years.  It became evident that the offeror had incorporated parts of a prior RFP submission years before on a similar project.

The agency’s technical review team concluded that the proposal was deficient and that the offeror did not have a clear understanding of the RFP’s requirements.  The offeror was not given an opportunity to cure the deficiencies. After the offeror learned of the basis of its rejection during a debriefing, it filed a protest contending that the deficiencies in its proposal were minor and that it should have been given the opportunity to correct its proposal. Its main argument was that its proposal could easily have been corrected. 

The GAO, in denying the protest, stated that neither the ease of the corrective effort nor the “minor” nature of the deficiencies were determinative of whether the proposal should be accepted or rejected. Instead, the GAO held that the need for numerous revisions “evidenced an inherent lack of understanding or awareness of the current RFP’s requirements.”    The GAO succinctly stated in upholding the agency’s rejection of the proposal: “Offerors are responsible for submitting an adequately written proposal, and run the risk that their proposals will be evaluated unfavorably where they fail to do so.”


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We recently presented a number of seminars on the topic “How to Succeed in the New World of Federal Construction Contracting” that dealt with the shift from sealed bidding to negotiated procurement in federal construction contracting, as well as the increased use of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) and Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC).