Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Defense Logistics Agency
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Sole-Source Award
General Counsel, P.C. Highlight: Agency is justified in issuing a sole source award where the purpose of the award is to maintain the contractor as a source of supply for a national emergency or to achieve industrial mobilization.
The Defense Logistics Agency issued a sole-source contract to Camel Manufacturing Company for military tents. Ridgeline Industries, Inc. protested the sole-source award as unreasonable and argued that it should have been allowed to compete for the award.
DLA responded to the protest by stating that due to the conclusions of a study that it had conducted, it determined that vendors and suppliers had experienced difficulty in producing and meeting the requirements to supply tents that measured up to the military specifications. As a result DLA decided to fund a minimum sustaining rate of production to preserve domestic production capacity while it made long-term plans for the supply of tents. The sole-source award to Camel, in DLA’s justification, was based on Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-3, which provides for the award of a contract to a particular source to maintain the source for a national emergency or to achieve industrial mobilization.
Ridgeline asserted that this justification was unreasonable because it was not considered for the contract and it too was at risk of closing its doors. DLA distinguished Ridgeline’s production experience as being capable of producing only components, rather than complete tents. GAO agreed with DLA’s rationale for preserving its supply-line of tents and held that Ridgeline had failed to meaningfully challenge DLA’s explanation.