Government Contracts Urgent Circumstances Justified Sole-Source Task Order Award
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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Urgent Circumstances Justified Sole-Source Task Order Award

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The issuance of a task order on a sole-source basis was appropriate because the government reasonably concluded urgent circumstances did not permit a competition among holders of Network-Centric Solutions-2 multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. The protester, a small business, was the incumbent provider of communications support services. Instead of exercising a second-year option on the protester’s task order, the government issued a justification under FAR 16.505(b)(2)(i)(A) finding that, due to “urgent” circumstances, awarding a task order to a different vendor without providing all NETCENTS-2 vendors a fair opportunity to be considered was in the government’s best interest. The government then advised the protester it would not exercise the second-year task order option due to the protester’s sustained marginal performance and failure to perform adequately in the base year.

No Lack of Advance Planning. The Comptroller General denied the protest, rejecting the protester’s argument that the urgency arose from a lack of advance planning. The protester contended the government was aware of the performance concerns in September 2017 and decisions regarding a sole-source award to the other vendor were made well in advance of the justification. However, although the government had concerns about the protester’s performance in Fall 2017 and raised the possibility that the second option might not be exercised, the record showed the government attempted to resolve these problems. The record also showed the government simultaneously pursued a contingency plan by preparing a justification for a sole-source award. Once the government decided not to exercise the option on the protester’s task order, it was prepared to issue the justification. Thus, the record supported the justification that the need for services was urgent and that providing a fair opportunity to all NETCENTS-2 vendors would have resulted in unacceptable delays. The Comptroller General also rejected the protester’s challenge to the duration of the new task order—one year with two six-month options—and the government’s failure to consider a small business set-aside. (Technica Corp., 33 CGEN ¶116,137).

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