Bradley attorney Aron Beezley was quoted in Bloomberg BNA on a GAO protest of an Air Force award for failing to assess potential conflict of interest. A recent decision affirmed that the Air Force didn't properly consider a potential unequal access to information organizational conflict of interest (OCI) before awarding a $38.5 million networking services contract. Beezley explained that from the perspective of protesters, the decision shows that the most effective OCI-related protest grounds are those that focus on the agency's evaluation and handling of the OCI issues.
“This approach usually is more fruitful than attempting to prove that a competitor has an actual or potential OCI and/or that a competitor actually gained an advantage through its actual or potential OCI,” Beezley said. “From the perspective of offerors in general,” he added, the decision “underscores the importance of strictly adhering to the terms of the solicitation. In this case, it is very possible that the contract awardee could have avoided the OCI issues altogether if it had adhered to the terms of the solicitation and articulated in its OCI mitigation plan a strategy for ‘firewalling' off the affected individuals and information.”
The complete article, “$38.5 Million Award Marred By Potential Information Conflict,” appeared in Bloomberg BNA on September 13, 2016. (login required)