Government Contracts Protester Couldn’t Supply Range of Items under IDIQ Contract
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Friday, November 13, 2020

Protester Couldn’t Supply Range of Items under IDIQ Contract

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

A protester was not an interested party to challenge a modification to an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity supply contract, because it could provide only a small fraction of the government’s anticipated requirements. The protest arose from a 2011 contract award for propellants and propellant components. As a result of contract extensions, the contract’s period of performance was extended through 2022, but there was no increase to the contract’s $423 million ceiling. In 2020, the government determined it would reach the contract ceiling by the end of fiscal year 2020. To provide additional funding through 2022, the government executed a sole-source justification and approval to increase the ceiling by $402 million, for a total ceiling of $825 million. After the protester contested the sufficiency of the J&A, the government and the incumbent challenged the protester’s interested party status. According to the government and the incumbent, the protester could produce only one of the items covered by the contract, and that item constituted a very small component of the overall requirements covered by the contract.

Not Interested. The Comptroller General denied the protest. To be an interested party to protest a procurement under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (31 USC 3551 – 3557), a protester must be an actual or prospective offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of a contract or the failure to award a contract (GAO 21.0(a)(1)). Here, the protester did not represent that it would be an actual or prospective offeror if the government were to compete the procurement for all of the various propellants and propellant components covered by the IDIQ contract. Rather, it argued that it produced—and would be a potential offeror for—a single component representing less than 0.01 percent of the total proposed ceiling increase. Prior decisions (8 CGEN ¶107,538, 12 CGEN ¶109,534, 34 CGEN ¶116,574 ) have found that a protester that produces only a small component of a proposed sole-source acquisition would likely participate in such a procurement only as a subcontractor or supplier, rather than as a prime contractor, and, therefore, is not an interested party to challenge the government’s intent to make a sole-source award. (Island Pyrochemical Industries, 35 CGEN ¶116,962)

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