Prior to August 2017, it was widely understood that a master contractor could not file a bid protest. This changed when the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals (MSBCA) concluded that awards of contracts under CATS+ are “protestable” in Appeal of Netorian, LLC, MSBCA No. 3028 (2018). This decision provides Master Contractors with an important set of tools to ensure fair treatment in the procurement process.
Under this new directive, an aggrieved Master Contractor may file a bid protest to protect against so-called “improprieties in the solicitation” such as unduly restrictive specifications, or to protect against unlawful award of the contract due to misevaluation of the proposals, a master contractor can protest the decision. After selection, bid protests may be filed to challenge agency decisions regarding, for example, errors in the evaluation and ranking of Task Order proposals.
The Maryland Department of IT may still disagree whether the bid protest procedures applicable to “procurement contracts” extends to task orders to Master Contractors.
Scott Livingston can help Master Contractors evaluate whether to file a formal bid protest.
While bid protests are often a means of last resort, it is one more tool in a Master Contractor’s tool kit to getting contract award or, at least, preventing unlawful award to a competitor.
RWL has successfully represented numerous government contractors, from major national companies to smaller local firms. RWL is among the pre-eminent law firms in Maryland practicing both procurement law and government relations. It offers clients multifaceted legal representation.
Scott Livingston has more than 30 years of experience in bid protests, after serving as an Assistant Attorney General representing the State of Maryland on procurement issues. He served as an Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Livingston had a prominent role in drafting various procurement laws and COMAR regulations. He also is co-author of the “Principles of Maryland Procurement Law,” 29 U. Balt L. Rev. 1 (2000) and author of “Fair Treatment for Contractors Doing Business with the State of Maryland. 15 U. Balt. L. Rev. 215 (1986).