PSC: DoD Bid Protest Proposal Denies Due Process
Arlington, Va., May 18, 2012—The Professional Services Council opposed a Defense Department legislative proposal to limit the protest rights of government contractors, in letters sent to Senate and House lawmakers yesterday.
DoD’s proposal would modify the governmentwide bid protest rules at the Court of Federal Claims to shorten filing deadlines and prevent contractors from appealing adverse Government Accountability Office decisions to the court. The House Armed Service Committee’s version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act did not contain this provision, but the Senate Armed Services Committee has yet to release its version of the legislation.
“We see little justification for this change and the explanation accompanying the department's legislative recommendation provides only a superficial rationale that relates solely to the interests of DoD but no other federal agency,” PSC Executive Vice President and Counsel Alan Chvotkin said. “We strongly recommend that it not be included in the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act or any other legislation.”
In the letters, PSC counters DoD’s reasoning for the rule, pointing out that claims of bid protests causing delayed starts would not apply to court cases because, unlike GAO, there is no automatic stay of work for cases before the court. PSC also questioned whether the meager savings estimates projected by DoD would be worth the denial of due process rights to both government agencies and contractors. “The interests of justice should not be balanced against such minimal administrative savings,” Chvotkin said.
PSC’s sent identical letters to the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services and Judiciary committees, as well as to the leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and House Oversight and Government Reform committees. The letters to the HASC and SASC are available here.
About PSC: PSC has been the voice of the government professional and technical services industry for 40 years. PSC’s nearly 350 member companies represent small, medium, and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks and @StanSoloway.