Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Defense Logistics Agency
Disposition: Request denied.
Protester’s request for recommendation that it be reimbursed $52,800 in protest costs is denied where protester fails to furnish sufficient evidence establishing the number of hours worked and rates of compensation for the individuals who worked on the protest.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO states that a protester seeking to recover the costs of pursuing its protest must submit sufficient evidence in support of its monetary claim. The amount claimed may be recovered to the extent that the claim is adequately documented and is shown to be reasonable. To be considered adequately documented, a claim seeking reimbursement of employee and consultant time must provide detail as to the number of hours worked and the purpose of the efforts; it must also contain documentation supporting the claimed hourly rates. Where a protester fails to submit sufficient evidence to establish the number of hours worked and/or the rate of compensation for an employee or consultant, GAO will deny a request for a recommendation that protest costs be reimbursed.
SLG has failed to document adequately the number of hours worked by its owner and the legal consultant. While the protester has furnished overall hours for several generalized categories of work effort, it has provided no breakdown of the hours claimed by date, and indeed represents that such records do not exist. GAO finds that such recollections do not provide the level of reliability required for GAO to recommend the payment of government funds to a protester. In addition to failing to document adequately the number of hours worked, SLG has failed to document sufficiently the rates of compensation for its company owner and legal consultant. The protester has furnished no evidence as to the amount that the company owner was paid by the company. Although GAO recognizes that the requirement for documentation may sometimes entail certain practical difficulties, GAO does not consider it unreasonable to require a protester to submit sufficient evidence to support its claim. SLG has not done so here. Because the protester has failed to submit sufficient evidence establishing the number of hours that its owner and legal consultant worked on the protest and their hourly rates of compensation, GAO is unable to recommend that it be reimbursed for any such costs. Accordingly, SLG’s request is denied.