Anuj Vohra

Anuj Vohra

Anuj Vohra advises clients on a range of contracting issues during all stages of the procurement process and regularly litigates such matters, including bid protests, before federal agencies, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. His practice also includes compliance counseling, internal investigations, claim preparation and disputes, and contractor representation before agency suspension and debarment officials. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Vohra was a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch, where he was a member of the bid protest team. At the Department of Justice, he served as lead counsel in dozens of matters representing the United States in complex commercial disputes before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the Court of Federal Claims. 

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RAND Report Concludes That Protests of Department of Defense Procurements Are Rare, Effective

Last week, the RAND Corporation published a report entitled “Assessing Bid Protests of U.S. Department of Defense Procurements: Identifying Issues, Trends, And Drivers.”  In it, RAND analyzed the prevalence and impact of bid protests of U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) acquisitions, and concluded that DoD bid protests are both “exceedingly uncommon” and, on the whole, … Continue Reading

Border Wall Protest Dismissed After Protester Fails to Timely Submit Comments

The Department of Homeland Security’s procurement for border wall prototypes is a complex, controversial procurement by any measure.  But one protest of that procurement has recently been dismissed for a simple reason: the protester failed to timely submit comments on the agency report. Bid protests at the Government Accountability Office are notorious for their fast … Continue Reading

GAO: “Reasoned Judgment” Required When Establishing Competitive Range

On May 19, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) sustained a protest filed by Pinnacle Solutions, Inc. (“Pinnacle”) challenging its exclusion from the competitive range in NASA procurement for aircraft logistics, integration, configuration management, and engineering services.  GAO concluded that NASA had unreasonably evaluated and assigned weaknesses to Pinnacle’s proposal and, as is relevant … Continue Reading

CFC: Offeror on a GSA Lease Lacks Standing to Raise Appropriations Issues

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims ruled that a pre-award protestor lacked standing to challenge the legality of a request for lease proposals (“RLP”) under an appropriations statute. Cleveland Assets, LLC v. United States, 132 Fed. Cl. 264 (2017). In particular, the Court ruled that the protestor could not enforce the statute’s … Continue Reading

COFC Awards Enhanced Attorney Fees In Protest Following “Egregious” Agency Conduct

Last year, we highlighted the Court of Federal Claims’ (“COFC”) decision in Starry Associates, Inc. v. United States, 127 Fed. Cl. 539 (2016), which sharply criticized a Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) decision to cancel a solicitation, a rare rebuke in an area where agencies enjoy considerable deference from the courts. The Court’s … Continue Reading

GAO Report Identifies Government-wide Contracting Trends In Stark Contrast To Proposed Presidential Budget

On March 9, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) issued a Report entitled “Contracting Data Analysis — Assessment of Government-wide Trends” (the “Report”), detailing Government-wide trends in federal contracting for goods and services during the five-year period from 2011 through 2015.  The report highlights trends in spending, competition, contract types, and contract recipients, and … Continue Reading

The More You Know: Agencies Advised to Increase Use of Post-Award Debriefings

On January 5, 2017, as part of its “myth-busting” series, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (“OFPP”) issued a memorandum encouraging federal agencies to improve their post-award debriefings to increase their “productive interactions with . . . industry partners.” Based on feedback from industry and federal agencies, the OFPP described the numerous benefits of effective … Continue Reading

More Cybersecurity Changes Expected for Contractors in 2017

In 2016, the dangers presented by an increasingly digital world clearly were on display. A cyber-attack using an army of Internet of Things devices interfered with the operations of major commercial websites. And the Presidential Election was plagued with allegations of state-sponsored cybersecurity hacking (for which the Obama Administration just issued sanctions against the Russian … Continue Reading

FAR Council Finalizes Rule Imposing Restrictions On Contracting With Companies With Felony Convictions And Delinquent Tax Liabilities

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) Council (the Department of Defense (“DoD”), General Services Administration (“GSA”), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”)), recently finalized a rule that imposes significant restrictions on federal agencies in contracting with corporations that have federal tax liability or a recent federal felony conviction.  The final rule implements requirements created by … Continue Reading

HHS Seeing Stars After Recent Loss in COFC Bid Protest

In Starry Associates, Inc. v. United States, No. 16-44C (Fed. Cl. July 27, 2016), the Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”) sharply criticized a Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) decision to cancel a solicitation following two bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”).  The history and outcome of the case are exceptional among … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Confirms that Award Term Extension Constitutes New Contract for Purposes of Bid Protest Jurisdiction

On July 12, 2016, in Coast Professional, Inc. et. al v. United States, No. 2015-5077 (Fed. Cir. July 12, 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a Court of Federal Claims (“CoFC”) decision, finding that the CoFC erred in ruling that it did not have bid protest jurisdiction over the award … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Broad Scope of the “Rule of Two” in VA Contracting

Veteran-owned small businesses scored a win at the Supreme Court with a unanimous ruling in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States.  The case involved a law that requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA” or the “Department”) to restrict competition to service-disabled or veteran-owned small businesses when a contracting officer determines that “at least … Continue Reading

Think Before You Post: Social Media History Now Reviewable During Background Checks

On May 13, 2016, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (“ODNI”) announced a new policy under which federal agencies may consider publicly available social media information in connection with an application for a security clearance.  The new security directive, entitled “Security Executive Agent Directive 5” (“Directive 5”), was signed on May 12 by … Continue Reading

Recent COFC Decision Underscores Need for Vigilance in Demonstrating Protest Standing

Many a bid protest has been dismissed for lack of standing.  But often that ostensible lack of standing has more to do with how the protest arguments are crafted than the facts underlying the procurement.  The Court of Federal Claims’s recent decision in Precision Asset Management Corp. v. United States (No. 15-1495) is a good … Continue Reading

Supreme Court grants certiorari in VA procurement case

Last week the Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear arguments in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, Docket Number 14-916, an ongoing dispute over whether the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act (“the Act”), 38 U.S.C. § 8127, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (“VA”) to set aside all of its procurements for … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Rejects Doctrine of Implied False Certification to Establish False Claims Act Liability

In United States v. Sanford-Brown, Limited, No. 14-2506 (7th Cir. June 8, 2015), the Seventh Circuit declined to adopt the “so-called doctrine of implied false certification” to establish liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). This doctrine treats an invoice submitted by a contractor as an implicit representation that the contractor has complied with any … Continue Reading

Under Secretary Kendall Proposes “Limited” Use of Lowest-Price, Technically-Acceptable Procurements In Department of Defense Acquisitions

On March 4, 2015, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall issued a memorandum detailing the “limited” role that “Lowest-Price, Technically-Acceptable” (“LPTA”) source selections should play in the Department of Defense (“DOD”) acquisition process. (LPTA procurements are just as their name describes—competitions in which the Government selects the lowest-priced proposal that … Continue Reading

COFC: In “Quirky CDA Realm,” Contractor Need Not Submit Its Own Claim Before Appealing Adverse Contracting Officer Decision

Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams of the Court of Federal Claims recently clarified the procedural requirements of the Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) that a contractor must meet before appealing an adverse Contracting Officer decision.  In Total Engineering, Inc. v. United States, No. 13-881C (Fed. Cl. Jan. 26, 2015), the Army Corps of Engineers terminated Total’s … Continue Reading

COFC: Not Everything Is “In Connection With A Procurement”

The Court of Federal Claims recently considered the extent to which its Tucker Act bid protest jurisdiction extends to Government “make-or-buy” decisions.  In VFA, Inc. v. United States, No. 14-173 (Fed. Cl. Oct. 21, 2014), VFA protested a Department of Defense (“DOD”) announcement that it would “standardize” the various facility-assessment software tools used by its … Continue Reading

GAO Rules Agency Best Value Decision Fails “Tests Of Rationality And Consistency”

The GAO recently issued a decision clarifying that a procuring agency’s discretion in best-value procurements, while broad, is not unfettered. In PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, B-409537 (June 4, 2014), GAO sustained a protest by PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) challenging NASA’s award of a contract for audit support services to CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP (“CLA”).  PwC alleged that NASA improperly relied upon … Continue Reading