GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to the Congress for Fiscal Year 1998

Gao ID: B-158766 January 29, 1999


GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to the Congress for Fiscal Year 1998 This is the accessible text file for GAO report entitled 'GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to the Congress for Fiscal Year 1998' which was released on January 29, 1999. This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this document to webmaster@gao.gov. This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately. Comptroller General of the United States: Washington, DC 20548: B-158766: January 29, 1999: The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert: Speaker of the House of Representatives: Dear Mr. Speaker: This letter responds to the requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. 3554(e) (Supp. II 1996), that the Comptroller General report to the Congress each instance in which a federal agency did not fully implement a recommendation made by our Office in connection with a bid protest decided the prior fiscal year. There was one such occurrence during fiscal year 1998. In Pemco Aeroplex, Inc., B-280397, Sept. 25, 1998, 98-2 CPD 79, we considered a challenge to an Air Force solicitation that bundled together into one procurement a significant portion of the workload currently performed by the Sacramento Air Logistics Center, which the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended be closed by July 2001. We sustained the protest because we concluded that the Air Force had failed to show that combining this workload into a single solicitation was reasonably required to satisfy the agency's needs. We recommended that the Air Force cancel the solicitation and resolicit its requirements without bundling these workloads. The Air Force decided to proceed with contract award under the solicitation despite our decision. The Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology has advised the Congress that the Air Force decision was driven by a conclusion that implementation of our decision's recommendations would harm Air Force readiness. In an argument that had been considered and rejected by our Office as insufficient, the Air Force stated that the risk to readiness of unbundling the KC-135 portion of the Sacramento workload was unacceptable. In response to the Air Force refusal to follow the recommendation in our decision, Pemco Aeroplex filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama. That lawsuit, Pemco Aeroplex, Inc. v. Cohen (Civ. Action No. CV-98-J-2584-S), seeks a ruling that the Air Force solicitation, and subsequent action, are improper. The case is pending before the court. Our Office has conducted a comprehensive review of this procurement. Public-Private Competitions: Processes Used for Sacramento Depot Maintenance Award Appear Reasonable (GAO/NSIAD-99-42, Nov. 23, 1998). We make no recommendation for further congressional action pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3554(e)(1)(B) at this time. Regarding the rest of the bid protest activity during the fiscal year, we received 1,427 protests (including 29 cost claims) and 139 requests for reconsideration for a total of 1,566 cases. We closed 1,600 cases: 1,467 protests (including 29 cost claims) and 133 requests for reconsideration. Enclosed for your information are some statistics concerning suspensions of contract awards and performance as a result of bid protests. A copy of this report, with the enclosure, is being furnished to the House Committees on Government Reform and Appropriations. An identical report is being furnished to the President of the Senate. Sincerely yours, Signed by: Robert P. Murphy, for: Comptroller General of the United States: Enclosure: Suspension of Award/Performance Data: Background: CICA contains several provisions whose purpose is to enhance the likelihood that protests can be decided before contract performance reaches a stage at which corrective action is effectively precluded. Where an agency is notified of a protest before award, CICA precludes an award unless the head of the procuring activity makes certain findings justifying the award. In cases where notice is received within 10 days following the date of award or within 5 days after a required debriefing, CICA requires the suspension of performance unless the head of the procuring activity makes certain other findings justifying the continuance of performance despite the protest. Data: The following tables present data regarding the number of contracts awarded after a protest was filed (table A), the number of protests in table A in which GAO sustained the protest (table B), the number of contracts in which performance was not suspended following a protest (table C), and the number of cases sustained by GAO in which performance was not suspended (table D). Table A: Protests Filed Before Award- Contracts Awarded After Protest Filing: Defense Agencies: 8; Civilian Agencies: 11. [End of table] Table B: Protests Filed Before Award- Protests Sustained Where Contracts Awarded After Protest Filing: Defense Agencies: 0; Civilian Agencies: 1. [End of table] Table C: Protests Filed After Award- Contracts in Which Performance Was Continued: Where agency determined that urgency justified continued performance: Defense Agencies: 23; Civilian Agencies: 16. Where agency found that continued performance was in Government's best interest: Defense Agencies: 22; Civilian Agencies: 23. [End of table] Table D: Protests Filed After Award- Protests Sustained Where Performance Was Continued: Where agency determined that urgency justified continued performance: Defense Agencies: 1; Civilian Agencies: 2. Where agency found that continued performance was in Government's best interest: Defense Agencies: 3; Civilian Agencies: 4. [End of table] [End of enclosure] [End of report]

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