The GAO (General Accountability Office) has suspended a firm from filing bid protests for a year. This action comes after the company submitted 150 protests in this fiscal year alone and nearly 300 more protests in the four years preceding. None of the appeals were ever sustained, usually because the protester was not an "interested party" - a prerequisite to filing a bid protest. By anyone's measure, the company was abusing the system. GAO finally had enough and took the unprecedented action of suspending the company from filing bid protests for a year.
Many of the challenges, like the instant protest, have been attempts to challenge acquisitions
where the contract in question was awarded years ago. The Company's protests have challenged the acquisitions of a wide range of
federal agencies. In fiscal year 2016, the Company's protests included challenges to acquisitions conducted by the Department of Defense; Department of
the Army; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Department of the Air Force; United
States Marine Corps; Department of the Navy; United States Coast Guard; National
Guard; Defense Logistics Agency; Defense Information Systems Agency;
Department of Veterans Affairs; Department of Homeland Security; National Parks
Service; Department of State; Broadcasting Board of Governors; and Department of
The contracts or orders awarded, or to be awarded, under the protested
acquisitions include a similarly wide array of goods and services. In fiscal year
2016, a non-exhaustive list of the Company's protests includes acquisitions
for engineering services, furniture, cell phone services, landscaping services,
housekeeping and facilities operation services, printing and delivery services,
antennas, laundry chemical services, portable generators, basic life support
services, stevedoring and marine cargo handling services, industrial-size frequency
converters and uninterruptable power supply batteries, passenger vehicles,
refrigeration containers, industrial truck scales, the lease of barges, medical
equipment and supplies, safety shoes and vests, anti-microbial medical privacy
curtains, brake test machines, and the repair and alteration of an airfield in
Despite the wide-ranging list of acquisitions for goods and services protested by
the Company, an examination of data included in the Federal Procurement
Data System (FPDS) shows that the Company has been awarded only one
government contract; in 2011 the Department of the Army awarded the Company a contract for miscellaneous medical supplies. The value of the
contract was approximately $113,000, and it was subsequently terminated for the
convenience of the government (hmm, wonder why).
In a single week in fiscal year 2015, Latvian Connection filed 59 separate protests
challenging what the protester termed were Air Force solicitations. All 59 protests
were dismissed when it became evident that the 59 solicitations that the Company was challenging did not actually exist.
GAO found that the Company's protest filings typically are a collection of excerpts cut and
pasted from a wide range of documents having varying degrees of relevance to the
procurements at issue, interspersed with remarks from the protester. The tone of
the filings is derogatory and abusive towards both agency officials and GAO
attorneys. The most common allegations raised in the Company's protests
are that the acquiring agency improperly failed to set aside an acquisition for
SDVOSBs or small businesses, and/or that the agency has failed to publicize the
procurement through the required government point of entry, www.fbo.gov.
While its protests typically revolve around the two central issues noted above,
the Company also routinely makes baseless accusations. In recent months,
the Company has claimed that agency and GAO officials are white collar
criminals; that the actions of agency procurement officials have violated the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), that
various federal agency officials have engaged in treason; that GAO has violated the
Equal Access to Justice Act, and that agency and GAO officials
have engaged in activities that amount either to engaging in, or covering up, human
trafficking and slavery.
Abuse of Process and Suspension
According to the GAO:
These filings reflect a larger pattern of vexatious
protesting that dates back several years. As set forth above, these protests have
challenged an array of acquisitions conducted by a host of contracting agencies
worldwide. In the overwhelming majority of these protests, the record has
demonstrated that (the company) either was not an interested party to
challenge the agency’s actions, or raised challenges that were legally insufficient.
In other words, (the company)--time and again--either has failed to
demonstrate that it was capable of, or interested in, performing the solicited
requirements, or that it had a legitimate basis to question an agency’s actions.
Indeed, despite filing protests challenging hundreds of federal procurements, there
is little or no evidence that this company has the requisite direct economic interest
in any of these procurements. Publicly available information provides no evidence
that (the company) has successfully performed even a single government
contract, and there is no evidence in the many cases presented to our Office to
suggest that (the company) engages in any government business activity
whatsoever beyond the business of filing bid protests.
It has become evident to our Office, and to procuring activities across the
government, that (the company's) protests are not filed for the purpose of
allowing the firm to compete on a relatively equal basis for a requirement that it is
capable of, and interested in, performing. Moreover, the effect of (the company's) protests is to hector the acquiring activities--and our forum--with a
stream of protests that divert our collective time and resources. In the cases
described above, and in the many, many other cases (the company) has filed,
attorneys for procuring agencies have prepared responses to (the company's) protests on the basis that (the company) is not an interested party to challenge
these procurements; that its protests are procedurally infirm in one way or another;
or that they simply are without merit. Correspondingly, our Office has expended
significant resources to process (the company's) filings, review the facts and
law, and respond meaningfully and equitably to (the company's) contentions.
The wasted effort related to (the company's) filings is highlighted by its latest
series of protests (including the current protest) challenging acquisitions that were
conducted years ago, where performance is complete and there is no possible
These protests have placed a burden on GAO, the agencies
whose procurements have been challenged, and the taxpayers, who ultimately bear
the costs of the government’s protest-related activities.
And with that, the GAO suspended the company from the ability to file bid protests for one year.
You can read the entire decision here