Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Kingdomware Technologies Inc.
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Request Denied.
Protester is not entitled to reimbursement of protest costs after agency took corrective action where protest was not clearly meritorious.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Kingdomware Technologies Inc. requested that the GAO recommend that it be reimbursed the costs of filing and pursuing its protest challenging the VA’s issuance of a purchase order to LiveProcess Corporation under an FSS contract. Kingdomware had objected to the task order on the grounds that the agency had failed to consider whether the procurement should be set aside for SDVOSBs pursuant to the Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006. Because the agency was unable to produce the supporting documentation indicating that it was properly exercising an option under LiveProcess’s FSS contract, the agency chose to take corrective action.
The GAO first noted that it will only recommend reimbursement if the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest. It pointed out that, even if the agency in this situation had unduly delayed taking corrective action, the protest was not clearly meritorious. The GAO had requested further information and documentation from the VA to be able to reach a decision. Since the final determination of the protest required substantial further determination, the case presented a close question and was therefore not clearly meritorious.
Protestors must remember that corrective action by the agency will not always lead to a valid claim for reimbursement for the costs of pursuing a protest. The GAO will only recommend reimbursement if the agency unduly delays taking corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest. No matter what the outcome, however, protestors should always maintain detailed records of the costs of the protest, broken down by individual issues pursued, to be prepared if the protestor does seek reimbursement.