Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Moyle Real Estate & Development Company
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Disposition: Request Denied.
Claim for costs is denied where protester failed to submit a timely, certified, adequately documented claim for costs to the agency
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Moyle Real Estate & Development Company requested that the GAO recommend that it be reimbursed for the costs incurred in preparing a proposal for and later pursuing a protest of the solicitation for office space to house the Hiawatha National Forests Supervisors Office. After an ADR conference, the GAO had informed the agency that the protest appeared to be clearly meritorious. Because the lease had already been awarded, and did not contain a termination for convenience clause, the GAO recommended that the agency reimburse Moyle for the costs of proposal preparation and the costs of pursuing the protest.
The GAO first noted that it will only recommend reimbursement where the protestor has timely submitted an adequately documented, certified claim to the agency in question. In this case, Moyle’s submission was timely, in that it was filed on the 57th day, but was so deficient as to be of essentially no value in supporting its claim. It failed to provide any detail regarding the claimed employee hours or supporting the claimed rates of compensation; it also failed to provide any documentation supporting its obligation to compensate the design firm. Even when given an opportunity to revise its submission, Moyle failed to submit a certified claim.
A protestor should always keep detailed records indicating the amount of work dedicated to each issue the protestor is pursuing against the agency. Costs records should include amounts owed to outside parties, as well as the rates of all employees that assisted in pursuing the protest and their hours dedicated to particular issues. Failure to properly separate and document these costs could lead to a denial of all costs, even if the protest was clearly meritorious.