Monday, July 16, 2018

Hiccup in GAO's New Electronic Docketing System Resulted in Untimely Bid Protest

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entered into a one year contract with P.K Management Group (PKMG) for field service management services and HUD managed properties in the Pacific Northwest. The contract was awarded on a sole source basis citing unusual and compelling urgency that had arising from HUD's decision not to exercise an option to extend the incumbent contractor. HUD need to provide continuous services so that approximately 500 HUD-owned properties in the Pacific Northwest could be marketed, preserved and protected, and so that the risk of adverse occupants, vandals, and thieves could be managed.

One company, CWIS LLC did not think that the sole source justification was adequate and that HUD lacked a valid legal and factual basis to award a contract to PKMG. CWIS argued that 12 months was too long and exceeded the time necessary to conduct a competition for the requirement and moreover, the unusual and compelling urgency cited by HUD is negated by its own failure of reasonable planning.

CWIS then filed a bid protest. At least it thought it filed a bid protest. One minute before the closing time for submitting protests, counsel for CWIS attempted to file a protest using EPDS (Electronic Protest Docketing System). The attempt was unsuccessful. One minute after the closing time, CWIS counsel notified the GAO by email that its attempt to file using EPDS had been unsuccessful and 15 minutes after closing time, CWIS counsel submitted the protest by email to the GAO protest inbox.

GAO showed no sympathy for CWIS stating that CWIS had, by regulation, 10 days to file its bid protest and 10 days should have been more than sufficient. Since the protest was untimely (by 15 minutes), GAO dismissed it.

Read the full decision here.

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