Company loses its right to argue bid protest because it did not file in advance of the award.

The only thing worse than losing a bid protest is losing because you waited too long to file — a lesson painfully learned by a disappointed government contractor.

COMINT Systems Corp and EyeIT filed a bid protest against the Department of Defense when they lost a contract for information technology services.

After the initial solicitation, the agency made a substantial change to it.  COMINT argued that this required the agency to either cancel the solicitation or permit a revision of proposals.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sustained the option of the Court of Federal Claims decision dismissing the bid protest.  It held that COMINT lacked standing to maintain its bid protest because it protested after it lost the award.  It was required to protest before the granting of the award since it knew of the change in advance.

The rule of law:  Contractors who identify a problem with a solicitation must file a bid protest before a contract is awarded or they may forfeit their ability to protest.

The case is Comint Sys. Corp., v. United States, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 25109 (December 7, 2012).

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