Contrary to media reports from last week, the Government Accountability Office says it does have the authority to hear bid protests for large civilian indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity task orders.
GAO’s statement is the result of a complex series of legal arguments the agency’s managing associate general counsel for procurement law, Ralph White, presented this week.
The original law giving GAO authority to hear bid protests was the 1984 Competition in Contracting Act, which made no distinctions between protests of contracts and task and delivery orders.
However, in 1994, Congress enacted the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, which strictly limited GAO’s jurisdiction over protests of task or delivery orders placed under ID/IQ contracts unless.
But later, in 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act — which expired in May — amended the FASA to extend GAO’s jurisdiction to civilian ID/IQ task orders of more than $10 million.
As summarized by Jill Aitoro of Washington Business Journal, as a result of the expiration of the NDAA, which expanded GAO’s authority, the FASA was also “washed away” and GAO’s authority reverts back to what it was under the 1984 law.