Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Organizational Strategies, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that awardee’s subcontractor had an unmitigated unequal access to information organizational conflict of interest is denied where (1) protester fails to furnish evidence supporting its allegation that awardee’s subcontractor had access to protester’s sensitive company information via a sharepoint site, and record otherwise fails to support the allegation, and (2) protester’s complaints that awardee’s subcontractor had access to other competitively useful sensitive information were not raised in a timely manner, and are not supported by the record
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Organizational Strategies, Inc. (OSI) protested the issuance to Imagine One Technology & Management, Ltd. of a task order for training support services for the Program Manager Aviation (PMA) – 275 Joint Program Office’s Training Integrated Product Team (IPT). OSI and Imagine One received equivalent ratings under the technical and past performance factors, and award was made to Imagine One for offering the best value. OSI objected to the technical evaluation of Imagine One’s proposal and claimed that the awardee had an impermissible OCI. It argued that the proposed subcontractors of Imagine One had access to extraordinarily sensitive information of OSI which gave it a competitive advantage.
The GAO first disagreed with OSI’s argument that the agency should have assessed a weakness to Imagine One under the workforce technical evaluation factor on the grounds that Imagine One proposed a vast majority of prospective hires. The GAO pointed out that, according to the agency report, Imagine One had only proposed two prospective hires and ten contingent hires out of 49 positions. The GAO then found that OSI had failed to provide evidence supporting its assertion that the Imagine One subcontractor had access to sensitive OSI information through a sharepoint site.
Contractors must always remain aware of OCI concerns. When performing on contracts, firms should maintain a clear OCI policy, as well as ensure that all employees are familiar with the company’s policy and know how to react when faced with a situation that could raise an OCI flag. When bidding on new contracts, offerors should consider how they themselves might be implicated for an impermissible OCI as well as whether competing offerors may have access to sensitive information.