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Reinstatement of Award Was within Court's Equitable Powers

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit did not disturb a Court of Federal Claims injunction reinstating a contract, because the CFC has broad equitable power to fashion an appropriate remedy and the government was the only party with standing to object to the injunction. In appealing the CFC's decision ordering restoration of a construction contract to the initial awardee (54 CCF 79,385), one of the protesters contended the order exceeded the CFC's jurisdiction and authority. The protester argued the awardee's claim regarding the termination of its contract was properly characterized as a claim under the Contract Disputes Act, and the awardee was required to satisfy the procedural requirements for a CDA claim.

Proper Relief

The Federal Circuit characterized the protester's challenge, despite being framed as a jurisdictional argument, as addressing the scope of the CFC's equitable powers. However, the Tucker Act explicitly empowers the CFC to award "any relief that the court considers proper, including declaratory and injunctive relief" in connection with a bid protest (41 USC 1491(b)(2)). The CFC did not abuse its discretion because the remedy of enjoining the reprocurement and reinstating the awardee's contract restored the parties to their positions before the government arbitrarily and capriciously followed the Government Accountability Office's irrational recommendation to strip the awardee of the contract award and bar it from a reprocurement. In addition, the government was the only party whose rights were affected by the reinstatement order, and the government had concluded reinstatement was advantageous. (Turner Construction Co. v. U.S., et al., CA-FC, 55 CCF 79,623)




(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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