Government Contract Attorney Lawyers Bid Protest Claims Disputes Changes REA Terminations Delays: Government Contract Attorneys Lawyers Protests Claims Protests Disputes

Contractor Disqualified Due to Possibile Access to Non-Public Information

Posted on December 27th, 2014 by

GAO sustains protest where contractor may have gained a competitive advantage by receiving non-public information from a former Government official. Contractor hired the former director of USAID’s Office of Water. The Contracting Officer allowed contractor to participate on a USAID procurement, concluding that the former USAID Director had little involvement in the procurement when employed at USAID. The GAO disagreed.

The GAO noted that the former Government employee was involved in reviewing the draft SOW and helped form the Technical Evaluation Committee. Additionally, the record lacked “a detailed agency inquiry into the extent of access to information that the former director had and what competitively useful information his access yielded.” The GAO held that this was enough to sustain protest.

GAO did not have to find that the former director actually used non‑public, competitively useful information when he assisted the contractor in preparing its proposal. Rather, GAO will sustain a protest if the “hard facts exist to demonstrate the existence of a potential conflict, even if not actual, that the agency failed to reasonably evaluate and avoid, neutralize, or mitigate.”

This case was certainly a lesson for the contractor and emphasizes the need to limit former Government employee’s involvement in a procurement that may lead to the appearance of an impropriety, even though non-public information is never used.

International Resources Group, B-409346.2; B-409346.6; B-409346.9 (December 11, 2014)

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Posted on May 13th, 2014 by

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