Wilson 5 Service Company, Inc.
June 9, 2014
Often, a procuring agency may take corrective action in response to a protest. When such action is taken, the GAO may recommend reimbursing the protestor its costs where, based on the circumstances of the case, it is determined that the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action when faced with a clearly meritorious protest.
In Wilson 5 Service Company, Inc., a government facility in the State of Maine issued a RFP for building operations and maintenance services. Wilson 5 was excluded from the competitive range for a late submission of a revised technical proposal. GSA decided to take corrective action by considering the revised proposal. But, the protest was dismissed because the agency’s proposed corrective action rendered the protest academic. Following the dismissal, Wilson 5 moved to have the GAO recommend that they be reimbursed for costs of filing and pursuing the protest.
Once a protest is filed, if corrective action is taken by a procuring agency the GAO may suggest that the agency reimburse the protestor its costs. A protestor may be reimbursed where it is found that the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action causing the protester to expend unnecessary time and resources. Before costs can be awarded, there must be a reasonable agency inquiry and the GAO must find that the protest was clearly meritorious. In the Wilson 5 case, the request was denied where the GAO determined that the protest required further development before a decision could be made and was therefore not clearly meritorious.
Thus, before the GAO can make any recommendation for costs to be reimbursed: there are three critical issues to be addressed:
- Whether the procuring agency took corrective action in response to the protest;
- Whether this corrective action was unduly delayed and
- Whether there was a clearly meritorious protest at issue.