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Incumbent Lost Standing to Protest Insourcing Decision


The Court of Federal Claims granted the government's renewed motion to dismiss a protest challenging an insourcing decision because the protester lost its standing when its contractual relationship with the government ended. The protester contended the government's decision to insource base supply services violated 10 USC 129a and 10 USC 2463. When the court denied the government's original motion to dismiss for lack of standing, the protester was the incumbent in the sixth of nine possible contract extensions. The court held the protester had a financial interest in maintaining its incumbency and would be injured if the government failed to conduct a proper cost comparison ( 56 CCF ¶79,839). The court declined to issue a preliminary injunction but allowed the protester to file an amended complaint reflecting the end of the contract. The government renewed its motion to dismiss, alleging the expiration of the contract with no further extension was a change in circumstances that affected the court's rationale supporting the protester's standing.

Snapping Point

The court agreed, noting "[u]nder no circumstances would we enter an injunction now that the [government] has completely absorbed the work itself." Following the expiration of the contract, an injunction would be more disruptive, cause more waste by unwinding the transition to government personnel, and require the government to consider opening an interim contract to other bidders. Although "jurisdiction normally would be fixed at the time of filing a suit … the litigant must maintain a posture in which the injury suffered could be ‘redressed by a favorable judicial decision’ admitting of specific relief." Here, considering what would happen if the court entered an injunction led "inexorably" to the conclusion that standing had "been stretched to the snapping point." ( Elmendorf Support Services JV v. U.S., FedCl, 56 CCF ¶79,891)




(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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