Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP successfully represented BayFirst Solutions LLC (BayFirst) in a bid protest case involving a contract valued in excess of $15 million. On January 9, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims set aside a U.S. Department of State security contract awarded to Veteran Solutions Inc. (VSI) that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) had previously affirmed. A ruling previously issued by the GAO in August 2011 denied BayFirst's bid protest and found BayFirst's arguments to be without merit. The Court of Federal Claims emphatically disagreed with the GAO's findings of fact and ruling. After receiving GAO's adverse ruling, BayFirst filed another bid protest at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Stinson attorney Lawrence Block argued the agency improperly evaluated the proposals, engaged in disparate treatment of BayFirst and failed to conduct a proper technical/price tradeoff analysis. The arguments raised were substantially similar to those made during the GAO bid protest and utilized additional source selection information obtained during the course of the GAO proceeding. On January 9, Judge Lynn J. Bush issued the public decision granting BayFirst's motion for judgment, denying the motions for judgment made by the agency and VSI, and permanently enjoining the award to VSI. The court also mandated that any reevaluation shall be performed pursuant to the instructions set forth in the decision. The Court found the "source selection decision was riddled with mistakes." "The judge adopted nearly every argument we made and found that the agency engaged in disparate treatment of our client and produced a severely flawed source selection decision," said Block, chair of the firm's government contracts practice group, who represented BayFirst in this bid protest. “This case illustrates the growing trend that contractors are not being deterred, even if they initially lose at the GAO. Contractors now are more willing to file another bid protest at the Court of Federal Claims understanding they will receive a fresh judicial look at the facts and argument of counsel and this second protest can utilize the source selection information gleaned during the GAO process to produce a different result." Block has been successful in several bid protest cases at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims following an adverse decision by the GAO.
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