Bid Protest Denied Where Contractor Failed to Protest Before the Award

Timing is everything in law.  In Plott Bakery Products, the government contractor complained that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to award her business a contract for their Meal, Ready-to-Eat Ration Program.  Unfortunately, she complained about items in the solicitation that she should have protested before the award was made.  Because she waited until after she lost the award to file a post-award protest, she was barred from protesting those items.

She also complained that the agency erred in its evaluation of her proposal.  However, the Court pointed out that the winner had better-rated products at a significant savings to the government.  It refused to wade into the minutiae of the procurement process absent evidence of a reversible error.

In this case, the contractor represented herself without a lawyer.  Usually, contractors cannot do this because a non-lawyers cannot represent and incorporated entity.  However, since this contractor was not incorporated, she was able to represent her business.

The case is Evelyn Burney, Doing Business as Plott Bakery Products v. United States and Sterling Food, Inc., 2012 U. S. App. LEXIS 25253 (December 11, 2012).

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