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 Interior.
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 Bahrain.
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 remedy available.8 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.