Friday, December 1, 2017

Suspension Lifted - Abuse Resumes - New Two-Year Suspension

Back in August of 2016, the GAO (Government Accountability Office) suspended Latvian Connection LLC from filing bid protests for one year. The reasons for the suspension were many but essentially, GAO found that Latvian Connection's protest filings were collections of excerpts cut and pasted from a wide range of documents having varying degrees of relevance to the procurements at issue, interspersed with remarks that were derogatory and abusive. After 450 or so of these filings, the GAO had had enough "abuse" and suspended the firm from filing bid protests for a year (See GAO Suspends Firm from Filing Bid Protests for a Year for a more in-depth analysis).

As soon as the suspension was lifted, Latvian resumed its practice of submitting numerous bid protests, once again comprised of excerpts cust and pasted from a wide range of documents that are largely irrelevant or fail to address the substantive and threshold issues raised by its protests even though GAO warned Latvian back in August that protest submissions must be concise and logically arranged. For example:
Latvian Connection filed a 28-page statement containing dozens of excerpts, tables, computer screenshots, and pictures, interspersed with commentary (often derogatory) from the protestor. The statement is presented in a confusing array of text sizes, fonts, highlighting, and varying margins, rendering it unintelligible.
Latvian Connection's filings continue to levy derogatory and abusive accusations towards agency and GAO officials, including baseless accusations of criminal activity (read the full text of the decision for specific examples).
GAO noted that Latvian has continued to routinely and repeatedly file protests that are not legally sound and both GAO and the agencies must divert its collective time and resources to responding. Recent protests continue to place a burden on GAO, the agencies whose procurements were challenged, and the taxpayers, who ultimately bear the costs of the Government's protest-related activities. GAO therefore concluded that Latvian's practices undermine the effectiveness and integrity of the bid protest process and constitute an abuse of process.

Because of this, GAO has once again suspended Latvian from filing bid protests, this time for a period of two years along with a stern warning:
We also give notice that if Latvian Connection continues its abusive litigation practices after the end of this new suspension period, our Office may impose additional sanctions, including permanently barring the firm and its principal from filing protests at GAO.
The full text of GAO latest Latvian decision can be downloaded/read here.

No comments:

Post a Comment