Government Contracts Protester Failed to Establish Procurement Integrity Act Violation
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Protester Failed to Establish Procurement Integrity Act Violation

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

Allegations the government violated the Procurement Integrity Act lacked merit because the contracting officer reasonably concluded a potential disclosure of the incumbent’s information had no possible impact on the competition. The protester was the incumbent mission support services contractor. While its earlier protest of its elimination from the competitive range was pending (34 CGEN ¶116,377), it discovered that data relating to its performance of the predecessor contract had been placed on a government computer and could possibly be accessed by other contractors. The government’s director of resource management had created and moved the data into folders called “Contract Functional Review” and “Resumes” on a shared network drive. The PIA provides that a person shall not knowingly disclose or obtain contractor bid or proposal information or source selection information before the award of a contract to which the information relates (41 USC 2102(b)). A CO who receives information about a possible PIA violation must determine if the possible violation has any impact on a pending award or selection (FAR 3.104-7(a)). In response to the protester’s PIA allegations, the CO performed an investigation and determined there was no possible impact on the competition.

No Competitive Advantage. The Comptroller General denied the protest, finding no possibility that the information in the folders provided a competitive advantage. First, the record showed that the Contract Functional Review folder was created after the remaining competitive range offerors submitted their final proposal revisions. Since these offerors could not have accessed the information in the folders prior to the submission FPRs, they necessarily could not have derived any improper competitive advantage from the information. Second, although the Resumes folder was created prior to the date for submission of FPRs, the resumes in the folder were for employees of the protester that the government wanted to hire. Some of them had already been hired and others had pending job offers. Although these resumes might have been proprietary or confidential information of the protester, nothing in the record showed this information could have been competitively useful in this procurement. Moreover, the protester’s decision not to use these resumes in its proposal further undercut any assertion that a possible disclosure compromised the integrity of the procurement. (TRAX Int’l Corp., 34 CGEN ¶116,424)

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