Government Contracts FedBizOpps Troubles Weren’t Valid Basis of Protest
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

FedBizOpps Troubles Weren’t Valid Basis of Protest

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

There was no merit to the protester’s allegation it was denied the opportunity to compete for a contract for foreclosure legal services because the government posted notice of the request for quotations on the FedBizOpps website. The protester submitted a quotation but the government subsequently cancelled the RFQ. The notice provided to the protester and all other vendors stated the RFQ was cancelled “as further development of requirements and direction may be required” and “[p]lease continue to track the Federal Business Opportunity (FBO) at www.fbo.gov for any future opportunities.” After the government amended the RFQ’s minimum qualification requirements, it reissued the RFQ and posted notice on FedBizOpps. The following month, the protester contacted the contracting officer, who informed the protester the RFQ had closed. The protester contended it was denied a fair opportunity to compete because it never received a copy of the amended RFQ and was unable to locate the RFQ on FedBizOpps. According to the protester, it signed up for automatic FedBizOpps updates in accordance with the cancellation notice and regularly searched the website using key terms, but never found the notice for the amended RFQ.

Constructive Notice.  The Comptroller General explained FedBizOpps is the “the single point where [g]overnment business opportunities greater than $25,000, including synopses of proposed contract actions, solicitations, and associated information, can be accessed electronically by the public” (FAR 2.101). Protesters are charged with constructive notice of the contents of procurement actions published on FedBizOpps, and the doctrine of constructive notice creates a presumption of notice in law that cannot be rebutted. Thus, although the protester asserted it registered for FedBizOpps automatic updates and searched the website using certain key terms, the protester’s actual knowledge had no bearing on the Comptroller General’s analysis. Since the record showed the government posted notice of issuance of the amended RFQ and the protester was charged with constructive notice of the procurement action, the Comptroller General dismissed the allegation for failure to state a valid basis of protest. (Boswell & Dunlap, LLP, 33 CGEN ¶116,127).

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