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United States Court of Federal Claims
February 3, 20221, Filed
The plaintiff, CGS-SPP Security Joint Venture, protests the award by the U.S. Department of State ("State") of a contract for local guard services at the U.S. Mission in Australia. The plaintiff has moved for judgment on the administrative record under Rule 52.1 of the Rules of the Court of Federal Claims ("RCFC"), arguing that State erred by failing to consider the plaintiff's proposal. Before the submission deadline, the plaintiff had emailed its proposal to two of the contracting officers identified in the solicitation, but State did not open the emails or consider the plaintiff's proposal.
The defendant has cross-moved for judgment on the administrative record. The defendant argues that the plaintiff has waived its objection because the solicitation contained a patent defect or ambiguity by not specifying to which official offerors were to email their proposals. In the alternative, the defendant argues that the [*2] solicitation was reasonably clear that the plaintiff was required to email its proposal to the official identified as the Contract Specialist in the solicitation. According to the defendant, because the plaintiff failed to send its proposal to the proper recipient, State's failure to open and consider the plaintiff's proposal was reasonable.
The Court agrees with the defendant that the solicitation contains some ambiguity regarding which official was the appropriate recipient for emailed proposals. Because that ambiguity is latent, however, the plaintiff's objection is not waived. The plaintiff reasonably interpreted the solicitation to permit submission to the contracting officers designated in the RFP at the issuing government office.
The plaintiff's motion for judgment on the administrative record is granted, and the defendant's cross-motion for judgment on the administrative record is denied. The contract award is enjoined. State may either recompete the contract or revisit the proposals submitted in response to the original solicitation.
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2022 U.S. Claims LEXIS 47 *; __ Fed.Cl. __; 2022 WL 323393
CGS-SPP SECURITY JOINT VENTURE, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant.
Prior History: Matter of Continuity Global Solutions-SPP Sec. Joint Venture, 2021 U.S. Comp. Gen. LEXIS 292 (Comp. Gen., Oct. 12, 2021)
email, proposals, contracting, solicitation, designated, ambiguity, offerors, recipient, procurement, government office, email address, protest, administrative record, capitalization, injunction, injunctive relief, bid, defendant argues, waived, reasonable interpretation, deadline, argues, patent, irreparable harm, public interest, contractor, guard, terms, clarification, parties
Governments, Courts, Courts of Claims, Public Contracts Law, Dispute Resolution, Bid Protests, Jurisdiction, Motions, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Arbitrary & Capricious Standard of Review, Contract Interpretation, Ambiguities & Contra Proferentem, Patent Ambiguities, Bids & Formation, Sealed Bids, Invitations for Bids, Contracts Law, Contract Ambiguities, Competency of Parties, Offer & Acceptance, Offers, Competitive Proposals, Latent Ambiguities, Authority of Government Officers, Contracting Officers, Civil Procedure, Appeals, De Novo Review, Federal Government, Claims By & Against, Injunctions, Grounds for Injunctions, Balance of Hardships, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Remedies, Permanent Injunctions, Likelihood of Success, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Preliminary Considerations, Equity, Irreparable Injury, Public Interest