Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Size Protetst; corrective action
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: It is inconsistent with the integrity of the procurement system and the intent of the SBA for an agency to allow a firm to continue performing a contract where the firm was determined by the SBA after the award to be other than small, unless there are countervailing reasons for allowing the award to remain in place.
Greystones Consulting Group, LLC (Greystones) protests the award of a contract under a request for proposals (RFP), issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for roleplayer services.
The RFP was issued as a competitive set-aside for small businesses under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) section 8(a) program. The agency received four proposals that were eligible for evaluation. Among the four were Greystones and the awardee, CWU. Following a size protest, the SBA determined that CWU is other than small with respect to the procurement and was not eligible for the award of the contract. But the agency decided not to terminate the contract award to CWU immediately. Instead, the agency decided to keep the contract in place but not not exercise any option for performance beyond the base year period and to “resolicit with due diligence” to make a new contract award.
GAO states that it is inconsistent with the integrity of the procurement system and the intent of the SBA for an agency to allow a firm to continue performing a contract where the firm was determined by the SBA after the award to be other than small, unless there are countervailing reasons for allowing the award to remain in place. The key consideration is whether there is another offeror in line for award who can step in and perform the contract if it is terminated.
Greystones proposal was found unacceptable, as were the remaining two offerors. Therefore, there is no offeror to which award could be made based on existing proposals if CWU’s contract was terminated. GAO sees no basis to challenge the reasonableness of the agency’s decision to honor CWU’s contract, given the need for continuing roleplayer services and its plan to award a new contract after holding a reasonably prompt recompetition. The protest is denied.