Government Contracts Task Order Protest Bar Didn’t Apply to Unique Facts
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Task Order Protest Bar Didn’t Apply to Unique Facts

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 did not bar a challenge to a task order award, according to the Court of Federal Claims, because the government made a simultaneous award of four indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts and their associated task orders, and the TO awards were inextricably linked to the ratings for the IDIQ contract awards. The request for proposals for the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program V contract provided the government would concurrently make four to six IDIQ contract awards and associated TOs to cover six Geographic Combatant Commands and Afghanistan. The government would make awards to offerors that provided the best value for each COCOM in descending order according to three “Operational Priority Groupings.” Therefore, offerors’ technical ratings affected the order in which they received an IDIQ contract and associated TOs. The Afghanistan region would be awarded only through a TO and could only be awarded to an IDIQ awardee that had already received a higher-priority COCOM. The protester challenged the ratings it received as part of the IDIQ technical evaluation, which resulted in the award of the higher-ranked AFRICOM region and TO to another offeror.

Underlying Technical Evaluations. The government argued the protest was “‘in connection with’ the proposed issuance of the AFRICOM [TO],” and FASA divested the CFC of jurisdiction over protests of task orders (41 USC 4106(f)). However, FASA did not apply to the protest’s specific circumstances, which according to the court, presented a fact pattern it had not seen before. Although the government issued all four IDIQ awards simultaneously, the descending order of priority of awards, with separate best value determinations and adjectival ratings for each COCOM, “clearly indicate[d] that the [government] functionally issued four separate and distinct LOGCAP V IDIQ contract awards.” The fact that TOs resulted from the IDIQ awards did not divest the court of jurisdiction over the IDIQ contract awards themselves. The protester challenged the underlying technical evaluations, and the court would consider the merits of the protest based on the limited circumstances surrounding the government’s evaluation of the LOGCAP V IDIQ contract awards, not the merits of the AFRICOM TO award. (PAE-Parsons Global Logistics Services, LLC v. U.S., et al., FedCl, 63 CCF ¶81,763)

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