Protest of NASA Procurement of Acquisition and Business Support Services at Marshall Space Flight Center award denied

BACKGROUND FACTS

“A. NASA’s Procurement of Acquisition and Business Support Services at Marshall Space Flight Center (“MSFC”)

NASA awarded contract no. NNM11AA30C for acquisition and business support services at MSFC (“ABSS1 contract”) to Al-Razaq Computing Services (“Al-Razaq”) on May 1, 2011. AR46. The ABSS1 contract included business support services for supporting the preparation, analysis, and verification of budget and financial data.

AR108-10. The ABSS1 contract also included acquisition support services such as acquisition planning, solicitation preparation, contract award, performance, payment, and closeout.

AR110-12. The ABSS1 contract had a one-year base period and five option periods, allowing NASA to retain Al-Razaq until August 31, 2016.

AR59.  On February 16, 2016, NASA issued request for proposal no. NNM16534124R for follow-on acquisition and business support services at MSFC (“ABSS2 RFP”).

AR321. The follow-on contract was planned for a base period of one year, with five additional option years.

AR326. A2JV was established to meet the criteria for the acquisition.  Importantly, Al-Razaq, the incumbent, is one of the partners in A2JV.   NASA received twenty proposals in response to the ABSS2 RFP on March 18, 2016.

AR3463-64. On May 9, 2016, NASA Contracting Officer (“CO”) Ketela K. Helton eliminated A2JV’s proposal from the ABSS2 competition based on her conclusion that A2JV had an organizational conflict of interest. She determined that the Al-Razaq personnel that had worked on the A2JV proposal had access to the confidential business information of potential A2JV competitors. A2JV filed a protest of its elimination with the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”). Third Am. Compl.  42, ECF No. 130.

That protest was dismissed as untimely.

AR1628-38. Ten months after the GAO’s dismissal, A2JV filed this action. See Compl., ECF No. 1 eliminated A2JV’s proposal from the ABSS2 competition based on her conclusion that A2JV had an organizational conflict of interest. She determined that the Al-Razaq personnel that had worked on the A2JV proposal had access to the confidential business information of potential A2JV competitors. A2JV filed a protest of its elimination with the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”). Third Am. Compl.  42, ECF No. 130. That protest was dismissed as untimely.

AR1628-38. Ten months after the GAO’s dismissal, A2JV filed this action. See Compl., ECF No. 1…”

“Opinion

Plaintiff, A Squared Joint Venture (“A2JV”), protests the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (“NASA” or “agency”) decision to cancel a procurement for acquisition and business support services. This bid protest has a long and protracted history which is described briefly below. Because the court finds that NASA had a rational basis for cancelling the subject solicitation and because A2JV has failed to demonstrate that NASA acted in bad faith, the plaintiff’s motion challenging NASA’s decision is DENIED and the defendant’s motion for judgment on the administrative record is GRANTED. The court also DENIES AS MOOT plaintiff’s motion to supplement the administrative record.”

Read the full 18-page decision here.

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