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RFP for Integrated Software Solution Was Not Unduly Restrictive

The Court of Federal Claims declined to grant additional injunctive relief because the protester failed to establish a new request for proposals for software and integration services was unduly restrictive or in violation of a prior order of the court. In a prior decision (52 CCF 78,923), the court held the government's use of a brand name justification to select a baseline financial systems application software product for a migration project was an improper sole source procurement that violated the Competition in Contracting Act. The court enjoined the government from proceeding with a task order solicitation for software migration until it conducted a competitive procurement to select a baseline software product. The protester alleged the new RFP violated "both the letter and intent of the [c]ourt's previous [o]rder" because the RFP's "restrictive nature" ensured the government would acquire the baseline software it previously selected. According to the protester, the government continued to proceed with the enjoined solicitation by developing and implementing an automated interface between the selected software and a travel solution, purchasing maintenance for the selected software, and contracting with a third party to prepare an agency for migration to the selected software.
Protest Dismissed

On cross-motions for judgment on the administrative record, the court dismissed the protest. First, the government's implementation of the travel interface was consistent with the status quo as it existed prior to the issuance of the first solicitation. The government had not proceeded with three tasks from the prior solicitation, as alleged by the protester, but rather continued to develop and implement different travel solution interfaces, without regard to which financial management software was being used. Second, there was the potential for harm to the government if it did not continue to pay maintenance fees for the baseline software it had previously selected, and the government was paying these fees prior to the issuance of the first solicitation. Third, the contract cited by the protester as evidence of preparation for migration to the selected baseline software did not actually involve the selected software or migration of the cited agency's system to the selected software. The court also rejected the protester's argument that the new RFP's requirement for an integrated solution was unduly restrictive. The government determined its minimum needs would be best satisfied by acquiring a currently operational, integrated system, which it had used in the past, and there were several integrated solutions available on the market. Since the protester did not meet its burden of demonstrating the requirement lacked a rational basis, the court deferred to the government's discretion in determining its needs. (Savantage Financial Services, Inc. v. U.S., FedCl, 53 CCF 79,103)

(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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