December 13, 2016
Senate backs down from attempt to restrain bid protests, but wants more data
Source: Federal News Radio, Jared Serbu, December 5, 2016
Advocates and defenders of the federal bid protest process received some welcome news last week as part of the House-Senate agreement on this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The final deal stripped two key Senate provisions that were seen as hostile to the protest process.
In a major reversal from the Senate’s earlier position, NDAA conferees agreed to give the Government Accountability Office permanent jurisdiction to hear and decide bid protests of any task order worth more than $10 million. GAO’s earlier authority to hear challenges to individual orders on major multiple-award contract vehicles like Alliant, EAGLE 2 and OASIS was only temporary, and lapsed entirely at the end of September.
Meanwhile, the Senate passed a standalone bill on Wednesday that would do much the same thing, granting GAO permanent jurisdiction over civilian agency task orders. The bill went to President Barack Obama for his signature after earlier passage by the House.
“This is a common-sense policy that I am thrilled to see pass the Senate,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of the bill’s sponsors said in a statement. “In the federal government’s issuing of contracts, transparency and fairness are always standards we should strive toward, and we are now one step closer to updating our laws and ensuring that civilian award protests can continue.” READ MORE….
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