In a decision earlier this month, the Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”) found that an agency’s continued evaluation of bids during the pendency of a stay under the Competition in Contracting Act (“CICA”) neither violates CICA nor constitutes “a de facto override” of the stay. The case is Caddell Construction Co. v. United States, Nos. 15-135 C, 15-136 C (Fed. Cl. Apr. 14, 2015).
The plaintiff, Caddell Construction Co., LLC (“Caddell”), had filed a pair of pre-award bid protests in the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), challenging a State Department procurement to construct embassy facilities in Mozambique. Caddell then filed separate actions at the COFC, claiming that the State Department violated CICA and carried out “an unlawful override” by “fail[ing] to stay the contracting process” while Caddell’s GAO protests were pending. The State Department acknowledged that it indeed had been evaluating bids during the pendency of Caddell’s protest, but disagreed that doing so either violated CICA or functioned as an override of the stay.