The General Services Administration has taken back all 81 contract awards under its $15 billion Alliant 2 Small Business contract, after a United States Court of Federal Claims judge found that some of the awards were made in error due to contracting officer mistakes.
Citizant, Inc. — a small business located in Chantilly, Virginia — initially filed its protest of the Alliant Small Business contract with the Government Accountability Office in March 2018. But GAO dismissed the claim in May of that year, causing the business to file its claim in court.
“Citizant protests the CO’s decision to award contracts to various offerors,” the court order said.
“Specifically, Citizant argues that the CO erred when he (1) credited various offerors with the points they claimed for possessing an acceptable [cost accounting systems], (2) found other offerors proposed reasonable pricing, (3) deemed two offerors responsible, and (4) awarded contracts to some offerors despite not identifying them as being eligible for an award in the [source selection decision memorandum]. Citizant further argues that each of those errors was prejudicial”
The court order, filed March 11 by Chief Judge Margaret M. Sweeney and issued for publication March 25, grants Citizant a permanent injunction against the Alliant award, meaning that GSA had to take back all of its previous awards under the contract and perform another selection.
“The record reflects multiple instances of the CO evaluating proposals in an arbitrary, capricious or irrational manner,” judge Sweeny wrote in the ruling.
“Even if the court did not presume prejudice, Citizant would still prevail because it has demonstrated that it had a substantial chance of receiving an award but for the CO’s errors.”
According to the contract rescission notice posted to FedBizOpps, the Alliant 2 Small Business contract will return to a pre-award status, and proposal evaluations for the contract will continue.
GSA did not offer a specific timeline for a new contract award.
“Given that this is an ongoing procurement, subject to procurement integrity considerations, GSA is not providing comments at this time,” a GSA spokesperson told Federal Times in a statement.
Jessie Bur covered the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees for Federal Times.