Shopping Cart (0) items Sign In

Construction Claims Monthly - Devoted exclusively to the problems of construction contracting since 1963

‹ Prev article: 

No Conflict Of Interest On Mere 'suggestion? Of Bias

Monday, May 02, 2011 05:57 am


FAR states that an organizational conflict of interest (OCI), due to relationships with others, impairs one?s objectivity in performing contract work. 48 C.F.R. 2.101 (2009) and thus may disqualify a bidding contractor. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the ultimate arbiter of whether an OCI exists (i.e., after a contracting officer has found no OCI). And in making its determination,GAO must rely on "hard facts" that indicate the existence or potential existence of a conflict. C.A.C.I., Inc. v. U.S.,719 F.2d 1567, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1983). But a recent case highlights GAO?s failure in following its own rules.

GAO follows the financial benefit

While FAR says a conflict may occur due to "relationships with other persons," only close or direct relationships raise OCI concerns, according to GAO. In Aetna Gov?t Health Plans, Inc., B-254397 (Comp. Gen., July 27, 1995), GAO found a potential OCI where a consulting firm had assisted the government with its procurement and the winning bidder had proposed using a subsidiary of that firm to perform a $180 million subcontract.

By contrast, GAO found a relationship between two firms that have merely considered future work together too attenuated for OCI concerns. In L-3 Services, Inc., B-400134.11 (Comp. Gen., Sept. 3, 2009), a protestor alleged that a conflict of impaired objectivity existed where one firm was called on to review the other firm. The two firms were contemplating additional work [...]

› Next article: 
Sign up now for Construction Claims Monthly Online! Your own virtual help desk of must-have techniques, tutorials, and how-to articles.
Join Now Construction Claims Monthly! Close

Dear Valued Customers,

We regret to announce that ProEdTech LLC and all its affiliate brands will cease operations on April 1, 2019.

We are no longer able to fulfill online orders. We will fullfill all DVD and book orders already placed.

Customers of canceled webinars and subscription products may request a refund at (800) 223-8720 or You must do so by April 1, 2019.

Thank you for your business and loyalty over the years. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Best regards,
The ProEdTech Team