WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- The Government Accountability Office has issued a decision denying a bid protest filed by Northrop Grumman Systems of McLean, Virginia.
According to the GAO, Northrop Grumman Systems "protests the award of a contract to Raytheon Company, of Waltham, Massachusetts, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under request for proposals (RFP) No. HSSA01-14-R-1006 for support of the National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). The protester argues that the award to Raytheon was improper because the awardee had an unfair competitive advantage arising from the hiring of former DHS employees, the agency failed to revise the RFP to reflect its changed requirements, the agency unreasonably evaluated offerors' past performance, and the agency conducted unequal discussions with the awardee."
The bid protest decision (B-412278.7,B-412278.8) was issued on October 4, 2017 (http://www.gao.gov/products/B-412278.7,B-412278.8).
In its findings, the GAO said: "1. An agency cannot waive an alleged unfair competitive advantage based on the hiring of former government employees using the authority of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 9.5 to waive organizational conflicts of interest, as the unfair competitive advantage allegations arise under the provisions of FAR subpart 3.1, which has no corresponding waiver provision.
2. Protest alleging that the awardee gained an unfair competitive advantage based on the hiring of former government employees is denied where the record shows that the agency reasonably concluded that any information to which the former employees may have had access was not competitively useful.
3. Protest alleging that the agency's requirements changed in a manner that obligated the agency to revise the solicitation and provide offerors an opportunity to submit revised proposals is denied where the agency reasonably concluded that changes to the agency's requirements that arose after the issuance of the solicitation did not require an amendment to the solicitation.
4. Protest challenging the agency's evaluation of past performance is denied where the agency reasonably evaluated the offerors' performance record and the protester cannot in any event demonstrate that it could have been prejudiced by the alleged errors.
5. Protest alleging that the agency conducted unequal discussions by allowing the awardee to submit additional information after the receipt of final proposal revisions is denied where the protester does not demonstrate that the additional information was required to make the awardee's proposal acceptable and where the information pertained to the awardee's responsibility."
The participants in the case included: Jason A. Carey, Jason N. Workmaster, Luke W. Meier, Kayleigh M. Scalzo, Nooree Lee, Patrick J. Stanton, and Andrew Guy, Covington & Burling, for the protester. Mark D. Colley, Charles A. Blanchard, Kara L. Daniels, Dominique L. Casimir, Dana E. Koffman, Craig A. Schwartz, Michael E. Samuels, and Amanda J. Sherwood, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, for Raytheon, the intervenor. Christian M. Butler, Department of Homeland Security, for the agency. Jonathan L. Kang, and Laura Eyester, Office of the General Counsel, GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision.
TARGETED NEWS SERVICE: Myron Struck, editor; 703/304-1897; [email protected]; http://www.targetednews.com
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