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I received a request from an offeror asking for the final technical scores for each offeror. This request was received after the offeor had already received the postaward briefing. No competitive range was established. ; award was made without discussions. Is this information releasable? I know I can provide the overall ranking of all offerors, but the FAR doesn't say anything about providing technical scores of each offeror. Any help will be most appreciative.

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I received a request from an offeror asking for the final technical scores for each offeror. This request was received after the offeor had already received the postaward briefing. No competitive range was established. ; award was made without discussions. Is this information releasable? I know I can provide the overall ranking of all offerors, but the FAR doesn't say anything about providing technical scores of each offeror. Any help will be most appreciative.

Look at your FAR again--15.506(d)(2) says you may provide the "technical rating, if applicable, of the successful offeror and the debriefed offeror." This is one of those cases where I would argue that the FAR's specific listing of those technical ratings means you should default to withholding the ratings on other offerors. Additionally, I would argue that such information would be protected under the FOIA as "pre-decisional." Also, any time you release other offerors' ratings, you run the risk of releasing proprietary information.

Finally, remind your debriefed offeror why we give debriefings: The ?primary function of a debriefing is not to defend or justify source selection decisions but to provide unsuccessful offerors with information that would assist them in improving their future proposals.? See AWD Tech., Inc., Comp. Gen. Dec. B-250081.2, 93-1 CPD ? 83, at 6 n.2. How does this information help the offeror, if he already has his relative ranking? It also doesn't seem to me to fit under 15.506(d)(6), which covers "reasonable responses to relevant questions about whether source selection procedures contained in the solicitation, applicable regulations, and other applicable authorities were followed." Your offeror is just fishing.

Ask your program counsel, especially for help with the FOIA aspect.

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I received a request from an offeror asking for the final technical scores for each offeror. This request was received after the offeor had already received the postaward briefing. No competitive range was established. ; award was made without discussions. Is this information releasable? I know I can provide the overall ranking of all offerors, but the FAR doesn't say anything about providing technical scores of each offeror. Any help will be most appreciative.

Thanks, K-Law Atty. Your response is helpful.

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Also, any time you release other offerors' ratings, you run the risk of releasing proprietary information.

I don't follow. How could the release of an offeror's name (something not protected by FOIA) and the agency's score of that offeror's proposal possibly release proprietary information? Note that the offeror is seeking scores (e.g., 100, Excellent, Blue, etc.), not the written evaluation.

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Don Acq.--I'm curious about something you said. You said, "an offeror's name (something not protected by FOIA) . . .." What is your authority for saying that the name of an unsuccessful offeror is not protected by FOIA?

I have seen that there are divergent opinions on the topic, but I have never seen anything definitive. To me, FAR 24.202(a) (41 USC 253b(m) & 10 USC 2305(g)) make it at least arguable that the identies of unsuccessful offerors are protected. But knowledgeable persons whose opinions deserve respect (you and I think Vern at least) think otherwise. (Vern, if I mis-state your views, my apologies.)

So, I'm wondering what you base your opinion on.

Thanks.

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ALAL,

Pursuant to DoD's FOIA Regulation (DoD 5400.7-R), "proposals" are exempt from the disclosure requirements of FOIA. However, "proposal" specifically excludes an offeror's name when it appears in a record external to the proposal. The regulation makes no distinction between successful and unsuccessful offerors.

C5.2.8.2. If the submitted information is a proposal in response to a solicitation for a competitive proposal, and the proposal is in the possession and control of DoD, and meets the requirements of 10 U.S.C. 2305(g) (reference (p)), the proposal shall not be disclosed, and no submitter notification and subsequent analysis is required. The proposal shall be withheld from public disclosure pursuant to reference (p) and Exemption ( b )(3) of reference (a). This statute does not apply to bids, unsolicited proposals, or any proposal that is set forth or incorporated by reference in a contract between a DoD Component and the offeror that submitted the proposal. In such situations, normal submitter notice shall be conducted in accordance with paragraph C5.2.8.1., above, except for sealed bids that are opened and read to the public. The term proposal means information contained in or originating from any proposal, including a technical, management, or cost proposal submitted by an offeror in response to solicitation for a competitive proposal, but does not include an offeror?s name or total price or unit prices when set forth in a record other than the proposal itself. Submitter notice, and analysis as appropriate, are required for Exemption ( b )(4) matters that are not specifically incorporated in reference (p).

[bold added].

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AlAL,

FAR 24.202 prohibits release of proposals. I don't think it mentions release of the identity of offerors. I am on road today, but if you read the FAR procurement integrity regulations, I think that you will find that protection of offeror identity and number of firms involved applies during the source selection process, not afterward. I can't read FAR on my Blackberry but I have previously researched FAR for this and couldn't find a prohibition on releasing the number of firms or their identities after the SS was over. Now, I don't know when the source selection process is officially "over". I would think that after the debriefing and after the protest period is over should qualify as the "end" of the source selection.

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FAR 15 section on debriefings prohibits point by point comparisons between the offeror and successful proposal. Would full ratings or scores constitute such? Plus the rating or scoring matrix is pre-decisional material in my opinion.

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Guest Vern Edwards

FOIA (5 USC 552) does not prohibit the disclosure of information. It is a disclosure statute. Certain information is exempt from disclosure, but the exemptions are discretionary. See the Department of Justice FOIA Guide (2009) pp. 685-709, http://www.justice.gov/oip/foia_guide09/di...sure-waiver.pdf. An agency may disclose exempt information unless disclosure is otherwise prohibited.

10 U.S.C. 2306a(d)(2)( C) and 41 U.S.C. 254b(d)(2)( C) prohibit the disclosure of "any information received relative to commercial items that is exempt from disclosure under section 552(B) of title 5." 5 USC 552(B) describes the nine FOIA exemptions. Here they are:

(B) This section does not apply to matters that are—

(1)(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;

(2) related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency;

(3) specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552b of this title), provided that such statute (A) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (B) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;

(4) trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;

(5) inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency;

(6) personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(7) records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, ( C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or

(F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;

(8) contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or

(9) geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided to any person requesting such record after deletion of the portions which are exempt under this subsection. The amount of information deleted, and the exemption under which the deletion is made, shall be indicated on the released portion of the record, unless including that indication would harm an interest protected by the exemption in this subsection under which the deletion is made. If technically feasible, the amount of the information deleted, and the exemption under which the deletion is made, shall be indicated at the place in the record where such deletion is made.

10 USC 2305(g) and 41 USC 253b(m) prohibit disclosure of "a proposal" pursuant to a FOIA request.

FAR 15.505(f) prohibits disclosure of the number, identities, and proposals of other offerors during a preaward debrieifing.

FAR 15.506(e) prohibits the disclosure the following information during a postaward debriefing:

(e) The debriefing shall not include point-by-point comparisons of the debriefed offeror’s proposal with those of other offerors. Moreover, the debriefing shall not reveal any information prohibited from disclosure by 24.202 or exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) including—

(1) Trade secrets;

(2) Privileged or confidential manufacturing processes and techniques;

(3) Commercial and financial information that is privileged or confidential, including cost breakdowns, profit, indirect cost rates, and similar information; and

(4) The names of individuals providing reference information about an offeror’s past performance.

That list does not include the names of offerors, per se. Moreover, FAR 15.506(d)(3) requires disclosure of: "The overall ranking of all offerors, when any ranking was developed by the agency during the source selection... " That could be read to permit disclosure of the names of those offerors. It certainly does not preclude disclosure of their names.

The Procurement Integrity Act, 41 USC 423, prohibits certain persons from disclosing "contractor bid or proposal information" before contract award and for three years after that person's assignment. It also prohibits certain other persons from receiving such information before award. FAR 3.104-1 defines "contractor bid or proposal information" as follows:

“Contractor bid or proposal information” means any of the following information submitted to a Federal agency as part of or in connection with a bid or proposal to enter into a Federal agency procurement contract, if that information has not been previously made available to the public or disclosed publicly:

(1) Cost or pricing data (as defined by 10 U.S.C. 2306a(h)) with respect to procurements subject to that section, and section 304A(h) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 254b(h)), with respect to procurements subject to that section.

(2) Indirect costs and direct labor rates.

(3) Proprietary information about manufacturing processes, operations, or techniques marked by the contractor in accordance with applicable law or regulation.

(4) Information marked by the contractor as “contractor bid or proposal information” in accordance with applicable law or regulation.

(5) Information marked in accordance with 52.215-1(e).

That list does not include the names of offerors, per se.

The Act also prohibits certain persons from disclosing "source selection information" before award and for three years after assignment to anyone who has not been authorized by the agency head or the contracting officer to receive the information. It prohibits certain other persons from receiving such information before award. The Act and FAR 2.101 define "source selection information" as follows:

“Source selection information” means any of the following information that is prepared for use by an agency for the purpose of evaluating a bid or proposal to enter into an agency procurement contract, if that information has not been previously made available to the public or disclosed publicly:

(1) Bid prices submitted in response to an agency invitation for bids, or lists of those bid prices before bid opening.

(2) Proposed costs or prices submitted in response to an agency solicitation, or lists of those proposed costs or prices.

(3) Source selection plans.

(4) Technical evaluation plans.

(5) Technical evaluations of proposals.

(6) Cost or price evaluations of proposals.

(7) Competitive range determinations that identify proposals that have a reasonable chance of being selected for award of a contract.

(8) Rankings of bids, proposals, or competitors.

(9) Reports and evaluations of source selection panels, boards, or advisory councils.

(10) Other information marked as “Source Selection Information—See FAR 2.101 and 3.104” based on a case-by-case determination by the head of the agency or the contracting officer, that its disclosure would jeopardize the integrity or successful completion of the Federal agency procurement to which the information relates.

Items (1) through (9) do not include the names of offerors, per se. Item (10) may include the names of offerors, if the agency head or the contracting officer decide that the names are "source selection information." However, 41 USC 423(h) permits the disclosure or receipt of contractor bid or proposal information and source selection information in accordance with agency procedures. Such disclosure can be authorized by FAR or an agency FAR supplement. See FAR Subpart 15.5.

Absent some express prohibition of which I am not aware, I cannot think of anything that prohibits the postaward disclosure of the names of offerors, per se. The fact that the names appear in documents that are prohibited from disclosure would not, in my opinion, prohibit their per se disclosure.

Frankly, this business about not disclosing the names of competitors after award strikes me as silly. I have yet to hear a good reason for not disclosing.

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I agree with Vern. By the way, many public entities (states and cities) routinely disclose the names of competing firms after award and sometimes during competitions for design contracts, construction and design-build projects. Why is the Federal Government so different that this must remain a secret after award? What public interest is served by not revealing who competed? Back in the days of IFB's, everything was open, including bid prices.

I have been involved in several service contract source selections during the past 20 years or so, but many or most all of those would probably have been bid "back in the day" before competitive negotiations were allowed on a relatively routine basis. So competitors would have routinely been named for service contract competition, too.

The conditions for the requirement to conduct sealed bidding in paragraph 6.401 (a) don't mention the necessity nor the lack thereof to keep the names of the competitors secret after award. So, you cant just say that you are going to use competitive negotiations to avoid naming the competitors afterwards, if the conditions in 6.401 (a) are otherwise applicable. I'm sure there are ways to be able to do that on truly secret competitions. In other words, the reasons in FAR for using RFP in lieu of IFB don't include keeping the competitors' identities confidential. Keeping names and stuff like line item prices confidential after the competition is over seems to have morphed from the originally stated reasons for doing RFP's instead of IFB's.

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...

Finally, remind your debriefed offeror why we give debriefings: The ?primary function of a debriefing is not to defend or justify source selection decisions but to provide unsuccessful offerors with information that would assist them in improving their future proposals.? See AWD Tech., Inc., Comp. Gen. Dec. B-250081.2, 93-1 CPD ? 83, at 6 n.2.

...

Your contention is well-supported by a GAO Decision.

But I don't think its accurate.

The #1 reason for debriefings is to prevent protests.

The #2 reason is to contribute to a sense that Contracting officials, in the performance of their duties, are accountable not only to their supervisor, but also to those offerors who participated in a competition in good faith. While not necessarily defending or justifying a particular source selection decision, the competent debriefing provides a rational basis for it.

Accountability and transparency are at the heart of the GAO Bid Protest forum, and the low threshold for filing a protest (it used to be the price of a stamp) has been lowered to the price of sending an email. It is my biased opinion that the Congress made it easy to protest so that disappointed bidders could ensure that accountability and transparency, and to encourage meaningful debriefings.

........

It should be noted that GAO has stated in more than one Decision that:

"... An agency?s failure to provide a debriefing is not a matter that we will consider. This is because the scheduling of a debriefing is a procedural matter that does not involve the validity of an award. The Ideal Solution, LLC, B-298300, July 10, 2006, 2006 CPD para. 101 at 3 n.2; Canadian Commercial Corp., B-222515, July 16, 1986, 86-2 CPD para. 73 at 5."

I read about that in a GAO Decision about a case where the protestor made it into the competitive range, and the Agency refused to even say who won. The contract value exceeded the threshold for reporting at Defenselink.mil, but never was reported there.

I think the lesson for Agencies is that, if they have done something improper, do not tell unsuccessful bidders anything, and especially do not give them debriefings.

.

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.

except for supporting my previous post, this is somewhat off-topic, but since some folks who post here seem to sometimes fail to appreciate the value of protests, I thought I'd repeat some comments from GAO's Report to Congress on Bid Protests Involving Defense Procurements, April 9, 2009, B-401197:

"... several valuable benefits of the current protest process ...

"First, protesters act as "private attorneys general" who use the protest process to identify and pursue complaints concerning the procurement system, with a resultant benefit to the public.[16]

In addition, protests provide a form of indirect congressional oversight of the procurement process. Ameron, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 809 F.2d 979, 984 (3d Cir. 1987) ('the bid protest resolution process created by CICA is also intended to inform Congress of the operation of existing procurement laws, and to use the pressure of publicity to enforce compliance with those laws ? [by enabling] disappointed bidders to compel the executive to explain some of its procurement decisions to the Comptroller General').

...

"In addition, protests bring an important element of transparency and accountability into the federal procurement system that otherwise might be unavailable.

Protests also provide guidance to agencies in the form of publicly-available decisions interpreting procurement laws and regulations.

...

"As the conference report accompanying CICA stated, the availability of a strong bid protest mechanism promotes competition in the procurement system by providing contractors a measure of confidence that concerns regarding potentially unfair treatment may be addressed in a neutral forum.[17]

Contractors, particularly small businesses ... might also perceive [possible disincentives to filing protests] as an indication that protests have become disfavored as a matter of policy. To the extent contractors believe that it is less likely that their legitimate concerns will be addressed, the result could be an increased distrust of the U.S. procurement system and reduced participation in the system--especially by small businesses. Either of these outcomes could reduce competition and impair the government's ability to obtain the best value in procuring goods and services.

...

"As Congress has recognized, a robust bid protest process brings an important element of transparency and accountability into the federal procurement system and ultimately promotes competition by ensuring that concerns about unfair treatment will be addressed in a neutral forum."

.

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Your contention is well-supported by a GAO Decision.

But I don't think its accurate.

The #1 reason for debriefings is to prevent protests.

The #2 reason is to contribute to a sense that Contracting officials, in the performance of their duties, are accountable not only to their supervisor, but also to those offerors who participated in a competition in good faith. While not necessarily defending or justifying a particular source selection decision, the competent debriefing provides a rational basis for it.

Accountability and transparency are at the heart of the GAO Bid Protest forum, and the low threshold for filing a protest (it used to be the price of a stamp) has been lowered to the price of sending an email. It is my biased opinion that the Congress made it easy to protest so that disappointed bidders could ensure that accountability and transparency, and to encourage meaningful debriefings.

........

It should be noted that GAO has stated in more than one Decision that:

"... An agency?s failure to provide a debriefing is not a matter that we will consider. This is because the scheduling of a debriefing is a procedural matter that does not involve the validity of an award. The Ideal Solution, LLC, B-298300, July 10, 2006, 2006 CPD para. 101 at 3 n.2; Canadian Commercial Corp., B-222515, July 16, 1986, 86-2 CPD para. 73 at 5."

I read about that in a GAO Decision about a case where the protestor made it into the competitive range, and the Agency refused to even say who won. The contract value exceeded the threshold for reporting at Defenselink.mil, but never was reported there.

I think the lesson for Agencies is that, if they have done something improper, do not tell unsuccessful bidders anything, and especially do not give them debriefings.

.

If something is well supported by GAO decisions and, thus, is in fact the current state of the law, then I think it IS accurate. I did not say it was the only reason for debriefings; I said it was--according to the agency tasked with reviewing protests--the primary reason. I would be interested in your evidence that debriefings prevent protests, because my experience has been more often than not that debriefings--even when carefully, properly, and competently presented--actually tend to result in more protests. We in the government always HOPE they will prevent protests, but, as you say, given the ease with which a disappointed offeror can file a protest, most will seize on anything said in a debriefing to justify their protest and to show that the government has not acted appropriately. I think the ratio of denied/dismissed protests to those sustained supports my viewpoint. We all have seen numerous protests that clearly were meritless but the agency was forced to respond and GAO forced to decide anyway. It is not that I "fail to appreciate the value of protests," it is that I fail to see the value in meritless protests that boil down to nothing more than "mere disagreement" with the agency's decision.

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.

except for supporting my previous post, this is somewhat off-topic, but since some folks who post here seem to sometimes fail to appreciate the value of protests, I thought I'd repeat some comments from GAO's Report to Congress on Bid Protests Involving Defense Procurements, April 9, 2009, B-401197:

"... several valuable benefits of the current protest process ...

"First, protesters act as "private attorneys general" who use the protest process to identify and pursue complaints concerning the procurement system, with a resultant benefit to the public.[16]

In addition, protests provide a form of indirect congressional oversight of the procurement process. Ameron, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 809 F.2d 979, 984 (3d Cir. 1987) ('the bid protest resolution process created by CICA is also intended to inform Congress of the operation of existing procurement laws, and to use the pressure of publicity to enforce compliance with those laws ? [by enabling] disappointed bidders to compel the executive to explain some of its procurement decisions to the Comptroller General').

...

"In addition, protests bring an important element of transparency and accountability into the federal procurement system that otherwise might be unavailable.

Protests also provide guidance to agencies in the form of publicly-available decisions interpreting procurement laws and regulations.

...

"As the conference report accompanying CICA stated, the availability of a strong bid protest mechanism promotes competition in the procurement system by providing contractors a measure of confidence that concerns regarding potentially unfair treatment may be addressed in a neutral forum.[17]

Contractors, particularly small businesses ... might also perceive [possible disincentives to filing protests] as an indication that protests have become disfavored as a matter of policy. To the extent contractors believe that it is less likely that their legitimate concerns will be addressed, the result could be an increased distrust of the U.S. procurement system and reduced participation in the system--especially by small businesses. Either of these outcomes could reduce competition and impair the government's ability to obtain the best value in procuring goods and services.

...

"As Congress has recognized, a robust bid protest process brings an important element of transparency and accountability into the federal procurement system and ultimately promotes competition by ensuring that concerns about unfair treatment will be addressed in a neutral forum."

.

In the news today:

Pentagon Reviews Contract Protests After 24% Spike

By Tony Capaccio and Gopal Ratnam, Bloomberg News

The Pentagon is evaluating the causes and costs of a record 611 contract-award protests in 2008 by companies competing to provide services to the military or supply products from weapons to ships and planes.

The review that began last month will examine Pentagon weaknesses in setting weapons requirements and shareholder pressures on companies to protest lost orders, Brett Lambert, the Pentagon's director of industrial policy, said in his first interview since taking office. The Government Accountability Office found in April that Pentagon contract protests rose 24 percent in 2008 from the previous year.

Among the protests last year was Boeing Co.'s successful challenge of a $35 billion aerial refueling tanker award to Northrop Grumman Corp.Lockheed Martin Corp. and United Technologies Corp. on two previous occasions successfully challenged the Air Force's Combat Search and Rescue helicopter contract awarded to Boeing in November 2006. The Air Force needs to replace the Pave Hawk helicopter, used to rescue pilots after crashes, made by United Technologies Corp.'s Sikorsky since 1982.

Lambert declined to say whether the study might prompt the Pentagon to ask Congress to modify a 1984 law that allows companies to protest a contract loss to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The study will be completed "as soon as possible" for presentation to Undersecretary for Acquisition Ashton Carter, Lambert said.

"I want to understand what the costs to the companies are, and then I want to understand what the costs to the war-fighter are in the delayed capabilities because these products and services are not being delivered," Lambert said in yesterday's interview.

Lockheed said in July that second-quarter profit declined because three of its information-service contracts were delayed by protests.

"I'm trying to promote this atmosphere that we are two sides of the same table," he said. The Pentagon represents war-fighters and taxpayers, and companies "are representing shareholders," he said. "Their motivations are different in some ways than ours."

Lambert said protests increased 38 percent from 2001 to 2008 as the overall value of defense contracts awarded in the eight years rose 120 percent.

If companies hire "$1,000-an-hour lawyers, they will figure out a way to protest," Lambert said. Companies can bill legal costs to the Pentagon as general overhead, he said.

The review will "concentrate on serial protesters and bad actors," Lambert said. "It's not that we want the department to prohibit or impede the ability of contractors to seek sincere remedy."

Lockheed infrequently protests contract awards, and does so "only after a careful and thorough review," Jeff Adams, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. The company "continues to be concerned about the growing number of protests other companies file which ultimately impacts the global security missions of our customers."

The Pentagon study "would confirm that Boeing has rarely turned to protests of contract awards," company spokesman Dan Beck said in an e-mail. "Boeing, unlike some other companies, does not lightly object to the decisions of our customers and we always consider the potential impact on the warfighter."

Boeing's protest of the tanker contest in 2008 fit the company's criteria, Beck said.

A representative for Northrop did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Pentagon is also reviewing its conflict-of-interest policy to comply with the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act passed in June that requires officials to specify rules for separating contractors' functions. The details are due by March.

"What needs to be understood is that we are just trying to rule with reason and that there are certain things we do not want to have happen," Lambert said. "We don't want contractors that we rely on deciding how a bid should be submitted and then have that same company support that contract effort."

Northrop Grumman Corp. cited the impending conflict-of-interest rules as the reason for selling its TASC advisory services unit to KKR & Co. and General Atlantic LLC on Nov. 9. The two private-equity firms together agreed to pay $1.65 billion for the unit.

Officials from the Pentagon and other agencies including NASA will meet with defense industry representatives on Dec. 8 to gather input from companies before proposing a draft policy, Lambert said.

The Defense Department doesn't want to force contractors to divest their units or "perform unnatural business acts because of something they think is going to happen," Lambert said.

"We may move the bar by a few inches but we are not going to pole-vault," he said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...id=aIrSOQpbzRfc

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-.

"I think the ratio of denied/dismissed protests to those sustained supports my viewpoint."

I suspect that nearly every GAO protest was preceded by an effort by the Protestor to ask the Agency what they were thinking when they made the choice they did. If the Agency refuses to give even the minimal information suggested in FAR 15.506, those items are sure to be covered in an Agency Report. The basis of a protest isn't always a matter of not liking the Agency's decision; sometimes the Agency declines to even say what they have decided.

Sometimes a Protestor makes a compelling argument to GAO, and the Agency folds and takes corrective action without forcing the GAO to render a Decision unfavorable to their position.

In my opinion, that shows there was merit to the protest.

Sometimes GAO even recommends costs for a dismissed protest.

But what is the official recorded disposition of the Protest ? Dismissed as moot.

May I suggest that the raw number of dismissed protests does not support your viewpoint without further analysis ?

.

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