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Posted on April 13th, 2012 by

We recently won a GAO protest where Department of Veterans Affairs engaged in improper discussions with a bidder.  Manfredonia Law Offices represented the protestor, Piquette and Howard Electrical Service, Inc., in a protest against the Department of Veterans Affairs to upgrade a fire alarm system at the VA Medical Center, Bedford, MA. The protest began when the VA deemed the protestor ineligible because it allegedly proposed to do work in buildings not specified in the plans, omitted buildings listed in the RFP and did not show experience with the fire alarm specified in the RFP.  P&H disagreed with each of these claims and filed a protest.  Because the protest had merit, the VA took corrective action and found that P&H’s proposal was acceptable and reevaluated proposals.

The VA subsequently announced it would award the contract to Monument Construction, LLC. P&H protested again. This time P&H argued that the VA engaged in improper discussions with Monument to render its proposal technically acceptable. The GAO agreed. The GAO held that, even though the VA characterized its communications with Monument as a request for clarifications, the GAO held that Monument was improperly allowed to amend its proposal. The GAO sustained the protest and awarded attorneys fees and costs to P&H. Protest of Piquette & Howard Electrical Service, Inc., B-408435.3 (December 16, 2013)


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