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2020 U.S. Comp. Gen. LEXIS 250

Comptroller General of the United States

August 13, 2020

B-418869

Opinion

DECISION

Prudential Protective Services, LLC (PPS), of Chicago, Illinois, protests the issuance of a short-term, sole-source task order to North American Security, Inc. (NAS), of Carson, California, issued by the Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau, for protective security officer services at the National Processing Center (NPC) located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. PPS argues that the Census Bureau's decision to issue the [*2]  task order to NAS on a sole-source basis was unreasonable.

We dismiss the protest as untimely.

BACKGROUND

On April 1, 2020, PPS protested with our Office the issuance of a task order to NAS under request for quotations (RFQ) No. 1333LC19Q00000015, issued by the Census Bureau for the management, supervision, manpower, equipment and supplies necessary to provide protective security officer services for the Census Bureau's National Processing Center. Protest at 5. This protest was docketed as B-418627. On April 9, 2020, the agency indicated it intended to take corrective action by terminating NAS's task order and re-competing the requirement which would include, at a minimum, preparing and issuing a new competitive solicitation. Prudential Protective Services, LLC, B-418627, Apr. 16, 2020 (unpublished decision). As a result, the protest was dismissed as academic on April 16. Id.

After the protest was dismissed, between April and June, PPS and its counsel contacted the agency on several occasions to inquire about the status of the corrective action, and in response, the agency indicated that a new competitive solicitation would be issued. Protest at 5-6; id., exh. 1, Communications between PPS and Agency. During this period, on May 29, the contracting officer [*3]  prepared a limited sources justification to issue a short-term, sole-source task order to NAS with a period of performance from June 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 1 Protest, exh. 2, Limited Sources Justification at 1. The justification stated that the task order was necessary to provide the agency adequate and reasonable time to implement its corrective action in response to the earlier protest (B-418627). Id. at 1, 3. The agency also stated that the services to be provided by NAS were essential to continue critical operations at the facilities without any lapse of armed guard services, and that NAS was the only source capable of providing the services at the level required by the agency. Id.

The agency issued the short-term, sole-source task order to NAS on June 10. On June 15, the agency published a notice on the beta.SAM.gov website. This notice indicated that a task order had been issued to NAS [*4]  on June 1. 2 The limited sources justification supporting the issuance of the task order was also posted with the notice. Agency Req. for Dismissal at 3; id., exh. 1, Agency Posting on beta.SAM.gov.

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2020 U.S. Comp. Gen. LEXIS 250 *

Matter of: Prudential Protective Services, LLC

CORE TERMS

protest, notice, website, e-Buy, sole-source, procurement, issuance, untimely, beta