It appears that, at long last, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will have permanent jurisdiction over task and delivery orders exceeding certain thresholds.
The right of federal contractors to protest agencies’ actions with respect to task and delivery order procurements has recently been in a maddening state of flux. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) initially barred all protests of task and delivery orders under multiple-award contracts except in limited circumstances. But Congress amended FASA in 2008 to provide, generally, that a task order procurement may be protested if the order is valued at $10 million or more and that such protests may only be brought at GAO.
Critically, Congress also put an expiration date on GAO’s task order jurisdiction. While Congress subsequently removed the expiration date for defense agency task order procurements, it did not do so for civilian agencies. As a consequence, GAO’s jurisdiction over civilian agency task orders expired on October 1, 2016. Its jurisdiction over defense agency task orders remains in place.
Meanwhile, competing versions of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation would either reinstate GAO’s jurisdiction over civilian agency task orders (the House version) or eliminate it for all agency task orders (the Senate version).
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