GAO Extends Reach Of OCI Protest Timeliness Rules

Law360, New York (September 21, 2016, 1:05 PM EDT) -- There have only been a handful of published decisions in which the U.S. Government Accountability Office has dismissed a protester's post-award organizational conflict of interest (OCI) protest ground for failing to raise the challenge via a pre-award bid protest. Moreover, such decisions have all involved an allegation that a competitor was improperly permitted to participate in the competition due to the competitor's actual or alleged OCI. Until now, that is. The GAO's recent decision in A Squared Joint Venture, B-413139, et al. (2016) appears to be the first published decision in which the GAO found a protester's post-award OCI allegation to be untimely where the protester failed to raise the allegation via a pre-award bid protest, and where the protester's OCI allegation involved the protester's — rather than a competitor's — eligibility to participate in the competition. This article examines the GAO's decision in the A Squared Joint Venture case....

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