By Steve Kelman

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The Lectern: More on FAR Part One's core guiding principles

I recently came across an interesting bid protest case decided by the Court of Federal Claims. A losing vendor had challenged an Army Corps of Engineers on an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract it had awarded to five firms for the design and construction of training facilities in eight states.


The idea behind the contract was to get better prices, better contractor understanding of Army needs and speedier contract award by conducting limited competitions for individual jobs among a group of pre-selected IDIQ holders. The military has used this approach in some other facets of construction contracting for many years.


However, a losing bidder on the underlying contract protested the decision, arguing that such multiple-award task-order contracts for construction were not authorized by statute.


The court, bless their hearts, agreed that Part One of the FAR makes clear that procurement approaches in the interests of the government and the taxpayer, as long as not prohibited by law, are allowed.


There were a number of posts responding to my earlier post on FAR Part One that noted that getting frontline contracting officials to act in the spirit of Part One these days is tough. Sad, but probably true. And not a good statement about the environment for serving as a government contracting official right now.


For legal-eagle types interested in such things, the reference for the case is Tyle Constr. Group v. U.S. 83 Fed. Cl. 94 (2008).

Posted by Steve Kelman on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:10 PM


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