Focused Management, Inc. (“FMI”), a small business with 115 employees based in Alexandria, Va., was founded by a service-disabled veteran in 1994. FMI delivers information technology services and administrative support to government agencies and commercial entities. FMI’s subcontractor, AAC, Inc., was the incumbent contractor at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CFPB awarded a $20 million contract to one of FMI’s/AAC’s competitors. FMI, backed by AAC, which had a stake in the outcome, retained AGG to represent the company in a bid protest before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to overturn CFPB’s $20 million award to its competitor so that the FMI/AAC team would have a second chance to bid on the contract.
AGG assessed FMI’s grounds for protest and concluded it had merit. AGG then filed a bid protest within 10 calendar days of the award to the competitor to trigger the automatic suspension of the competitor’s contract for 100 days. AGG argued that the evaluation of the awardee’s proposal as technically acceptable was indefensibly flawed, that the awardee’s key personnel failed to meet the requirements of the solicitation, that FMI had been prejudiced by such flawed evaluation, that CFPB’s evaluation of FMI’s technical proposal was irrational, and that CFPB’s “best value trade-off analysis” was both erroneous and irrational. AGG was prepared to respond to CFPB’s response and also prepared to find additional grounds of protest in CFPB’s response. AGG informed CFPB counsel that AGG had just won attorney’s fees in the last two protests that it had filed and that AGG believed FMI had filed a meritorious protest.
Twelve calendar days after the protest was filed, CFPB conceded that CFPB’s $20 million award to FMI’s competitor was flawed and could not be upheld. Specifically, CFPB informed GAO that it had decided to “take corrective action,” which meant that it was conceding that it had made significant mistakes in awarding the contract to FMI’s competitor, would terminate the contract immediately and issue a new solicitation for its IT needs. GAO promptly dismissed the protest. As a result of AGG filing the bid protest, the competitor’s contract was terminated, the client was in a position to bid again on the contract and AAC was able to perform the existing CFPB contract for nearly six additional months. FMI won the $20 million contract on the second bid but the competitor then filed a bid protest, forcing CFPB to suspend FMI’s contract. After the statutory 100 days, GAO issued a decision, denying the competitor’s protest in its entirety. CFPB then sent FMI a notice-to-proceed letter and FMI and its subcontractor, AAC, are performing work for the agency. AAC President and CEO Thomas Paul said in an email, “Great news! Thanks for your professional representation as well, Tenley. AAC is looking forward to doing a great job supporting CFPB with FMI!”