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NIKA Techs., Inc. v. United States

United States Court of Federal Claims

April 16, 2020, Filed

No. 20-299C

Opinion

OPINION AND ORDER1

LETTOW, Senior Judge.

Plaintiff NIKA Technologies, Inc. ("NIKA") protests the actions of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the "Corps") in refusing to implement an automatic stay of performance under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 ("CICA"), Pub. L. No. 98-369, 98 Stat. 1175 (codified at 31 U.S.C. §§ 3551-56) [*2] . NIKA alleges that it timely filed a post-award bid protest at the United States Government Accountability Office ("GAO") under 31 U.S.C. § 3553(d)(4)(A) and therefore triggered the automatic stay provision of Subparagraph (d)(3)(A). The Corps, however, believing NIKA's GAO protest to be untimely, did not implement a stay of performance. This dispute originates from the Corps' decision not to award NIKA a maintenance engineering contract following the Corps' request for proposals. As relief, NIKA requests that this court declare that the Corps' refusal to implement the CICA stay was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law. NIKA requests that this court enjoin the Corps from taking further action on the contract at issue and grant any other relief the court deems appropriate. See Compl. at 13, ECF No. 1.

FACTS2

On June 21, 2019, the Corps, acting through the United States Army Engineering & Support Center in Huntsville, Alabama, issued a solicitation (the "solicitation") seeking services for its Operation and Maintenance Engineering and Enhancement Program ("OMEE"). AR 1-1 to 2.3 The Corps planned to award multiple "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite [*3]  Quantity (ID/IQ) type contracts" to qualifying bidders. AR 1-2. NIKA submitted a proposal on August 1, 2019, see Pl.'s Mot. for Judgment on the Admin. Record ("Pl.'s Mot.") at 4, ECF No. 18, but was notified on February 27, 2020 that it was not a successful offeror in this solicitation, see AR 2-160. The Corps found that NIKA was an unacceptable bidder under Factor 1 of the solicitation, "Corporate experience," AR 2-162, and it notified NIKA that "[p]ursuant to FAR 15.506(a), [NIKA] may request a debriefing by submitting a written request for debriefing to the contracting officer within three days after receipt of this notice," AR 2-160.

On February 28, 2020, NIKA requested a debriefing from the Corps. See AR 3-164. The Corps acknowledged the request, see AR 4-166 to 167, and on March 3, 2020, NIKA sent the Corps a list of questions it planned to ask during the debriefing, see AR 4-166. The Corps provided NIKA with a written debriefing via letter on March 4, 2020, see generally AR 5, and included in the debriefing the option for NIKA to "submit additional questions related to this debriefing within two (2) business days after receiving the debriefing," AR 5-174. The letter stated that "[t]he [*4]  [g]overnment will consider the debriefing closed if additional questions are not received within (2) business days. If additional questions are received, the [g]overnment will respond in writing within five (5) business days . . . [and] will consider the debriefing closed upon delivery of the written response to any additional questions." AR 5-174.4

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2020 U.S. Claims LEXIS 618 *

NIKA TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant.

Subsequent History:  [*1] Reissued: April 21, 2020

CORE TERMS

debriefing, questions, protest, additional question, Cross-Mot, offeror, business day, administrative record, automatic stay, procurement, solicitation, post-award