Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: CCR Registration
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: An Agency may make award to a company not listed in the CCR for awards made to foreign vendors for work performed outside the United States, if it is impractical to obtain CCR registration.
nstituto di Medicina del Lavoro-Archimede (IML) protests the award of a contract under a request for quotations (RFQ), issued by the Department of the Navy, to provide an occupational medical physician to provide occupational and environmental health support services at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Italy.
The RFQ provided for the award of a purchase order for a base year with four option years. Source selection would be made on a best-value basis, considering technical, past performance and price as evaluation factors. The RFQ required that “a prospective awardee” be registered in the CCR database “prior to award.” However, the agency provided an exception to this requirement by stating that, “[i]f the offeror does not become registered in the CCR database in the time prescribed by the Contracting Officer, the Contracting Officer will proceed to award to the next otherwise successful registered Offeror.” Only the protester and the awardee were found technically acceptable. Award was eventually made based on the lowest price.
However, before making the award, the agency realized that the awardee was not yet registered in the CCR database, although it had a CCR registration pending. The agency determined that an exception to the CCR registration requirement was applicable under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) § 4.1102(a)(5), which provides for an exception to CCR registration for “[a]wards made to foreign vendors for work performed outside the United States, if it is impractical to obtain CCR registration.” The agency completed and approved a waiver of the CCR registration requirement, that certified that this was an award made to a foreign vendor for work to be performed outside the United States and that it was impractical to obtain CCR registration prior to award.
IML argues that the awardee was ineligible for award because the firm was not registered in the CCR prior to award. GAO states that the solicitation did not require that contractors be registered in the CCR prior to the submission of quotations, but rather, required such registration prior to award. While an agency is generally obligated to ensure that prospective contractors are registered in the CCR database before award, the FAR provides a specific exception invoked by the agency that covers the present situation. GAO concludes that IML has not shown that the agency’s determination, that it was impractical for the awardee to obtain CCR registration prior to award, was erroneous. The protest is denied.