The U.S. Department of Agriculture improperly awarded a $141 million sole source contract in exchange for the contractor’s agreement to withdraw a GAO bid protest.
According to a recent GAO bid protest decision, the award violated the Competition in Contracting Act, which does not permit an agency to award a sole source contract in exchange for a contractor’s promise to terminate litigation against the agency.
The GAO’s decision in Coulson Aviation (USA), Inc., et al., B-409356.2 et al.(Mar. 31, 2014) involved the USDA’s procurement of next generation (“NextGen”) large airtanker services for wildland firefighting support. The Air Force initially issued a solicitation for the NextGen airtanker services in 2011. After corrective action taken in response to a GAO bid protest, the USDA awarded NextGen contracts to four companies. Neptune Aviation Services, Inc., which had initially been identified as an awardee before the protest, was not awarded a NextGen contract.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/gao-usda-improperly-awarded-141-million-sole-source-contract/