Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest dismissed.
Keywords: Interested party; set-aside; SDVOSB
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: A protestor must be an interested party as defined in the Competition in Contracting Act of 1994 to successfully protest a contract award. In a set aside if the protestor is not qualified for the set aside it cannot be considered an interested party.
GAO dismisses the protest of MICCI Imaging Construction Company, Inc., under a request for proposals (RFP), issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for phase II of a parking garage expansion.
MICCI argues that the VA improperly rejected its proposal because it was not listed in the VA’s database of veteran-owned small business concerns. GAO states that under the bid protest provisions of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. sections 3551-3556 (2006), only an “interested party” may protest a federal procurement. That is, a protester must be an actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of a contract or the failure to award a contract. Determining whether a party is interested involves consideration of a variety of factors, including the nature of issues raised, the benefit or relief sought by the protester, and the party’s status in relation to the procurement. A protester is not an interested party where it would not be in line for contract award were its protest to be sustained.
Here, MICCI would not be in line for award even if GAO was to sustain the protest because the VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) has denied its application for inclusion in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database as a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) concern. Although MICCI has filed a request for reconsideration, the determination that MICCI is not an eligible SDVOSB concern remains in effect, and thus provides no basis for GAO to consider the agency’s actions. The protest is dismissed.