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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Adding StanHinton.com to other links

Ran across another useful and helpful resource. It is useful because it appears to be a concise and comprehensive research tool for procurement students and practitioners, including links to other resources. It is helpful because, unlike some others, it is free.

See the Government Contracts Resources home page of Stan Hinton. Its concise utility is illustrated by its page of "Recent Court of Federal Claims Bid Protests", which makes a neat and relevant and short statement of the case.

Compare, for instance, its description of this case:
Virgin Islands Paving, Inc. v. United States, No. 11-687 C (Jan. 31, 2012) (successful protest; after having initially analyzed bids and concluding there were no mistakes in eventual awardee's bid, agency lacked rational basis, after award, to reverse its position)
with the description of the same case on this fee-based site:
VIRGIN ISLANDS PAVING, INC. v. THE UNITED STATES, COFC No. 11-687C, January 31, 2012. Post-award bid protest of a sealed bid FAR Part 14 Federal Highway Administration(“FHA”) contract for road construction in the Virgin Islands. FHA did the procurement under a Memorandum of Agreement(“MOA ”) with the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works (“VIDPW”). The MOA required FHA was to “request written comments and/or concurrence“ of the VIDPW. Protestor was the low bidder. FHA sent a concurrence letter to VIDPW recommending the contract be awarded to VIP. “[A] a member of the VIDPW Commissioner’s staff advised the FHWA that the VIDPW still was ‘concerned’ that VIP ‘ha[d] not been performing on other VI DPW projects’ and was ‘getting political pressure’ not to concur in the award. Nevertheless, [latter that same day], the VIDPW Commissioner concurred in the award to VIP.” An hour after concurring, VIDPW requested a conference call to express concerns about award to protestor. FWA requested protestor to verify its bid, which it did the next day. On the next day, FWA made award to the other bidder relying on FAR 14.407-3(g)(5) to make award to the second bidder.
Judge Braden permanently enjoins the award. She finds that FHA’s decision was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law. She notes “In addition, the Administrative Record does not evidence why the FHWA began to question whether VIP made a mistake. The only written account is of a September 20, 2011 meeting, where the agency was planning to reverse its decision, because ‘the VI Governor want[ed] assurance that [VIP] would complete the work.’ The idea that VIP’s bid was rejected as a mistake, pursuant to FAR 14.407-3(g)(5), and that conclusion was not supported by any written analysis from agency engineers, accountants, or the Contracting Officer, but from agency counsel who suggested it as ‘a way [FHWA] could award to other offer [sic] besides using responsibility/performance’ (AR 645 (emphasis added)), ipso facto was not rational. See Savantage Fin. Servs., 595 F.3d at 1286-87 (requiring the agency to provide a coherent and reasonable explanation of its exercise of discretion). Moreover, nothing in the Administrative Record evidences that any agency official qualified to opine on VIP’s pricing changed his mind at the September 20, 2011 meeting or discussed any particular mistakes that VIP might have made that directly justified the agency’s ultimate decision.”
Though, it must be said, the latter site does seem to freely offer access to its page of US Court of Federal Claims, too.

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