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In two recent cases, disappointed contractors protested when agencies failed to request clarifications or open discussions. Both Defense Base Services and Level 3 argued that the issues with their proposals could have been remedied if given the chance. GAO denied both offerors’ protests. Yet when Level 3 persisted at the COFC, the judge concluded that an agency’s failure to request clarifications constituted an abuse of discretion. The cases illustrate the difference in the way GAO and the COFC view clarifications and discussions, and shed insight for offerors under similar circumstances.
Example: CPFF Term/LOE Navy Contract which ended December 2007. Standard Navy LOE clause in contract states; "If the total level of effort specified in paragraph (a) above is not provided by the Contractor during the period of this contract, the Contracting Officer, at its sole discretion, shall either (i) reduce the fee of this contract as follows Fee Reduction = Fee (Required LOE - Expended LOE)/Required LOE or (ii) subject to the provisions of the clause of this contract entitled "LIMITATION OF COST" (FAR 52.232-20) or "LIMITATION OF COST (FACILITIES)" (FAR 52.232-21), as applicable, requ