How An Attempt To Avoid Formal Bid Protest Can Backfire

Law360, New York (October 6, 2015, 4:42 PM EDT) -- In a recent bid protest decision, Coulson Aviation (USA) Inc.,[1] the U.S. Government Accountability Office injected uncertainty regarding informal communications between a prospective offeror and the agency expressing concern about a solicitation provision. Unfortunately, this decision may punish contractors that seek to resolve concerns about a solicitation outside the protest process.

The background of this case may sound eerily familiar to contractors. After receipt and review of a newly issued solicitation, Coulson sent letters to the agency questioning the decision to conduct the relevant procurement under Federal Acquisition Regulation part 15 (as opposed to FAR part 12). The agency responded to...

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