The Government Accounting Office has ruled in favor of a decision to deny a joint venture a construction contract because the company failed to submit the proper paperwork. The ruling signals a trend in government contracts to require a signed joint venture form with a bid and is a government proposal mistake that could lead to rejection.
CJW Desbuild JV, LLC submitted a bid to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). The bid proposal called for the lowest bidder to be awarded a construction contract, and CJW submitted a bid that was $300,000 less than the next highest bid. NAVFAC had set aside the contract specifically for small businesses.
CJW was a joint venture between two small businesses, but company officials failed to submit a signed copy of the joint venture agreement. The proposal specially said bidders “shall submit a signed copy of the Joint Venture agreement indicating the proposed participation of each Joint Venture member.”
For its case, CJW argued that the lack of a joint venture document was a “minor oversight” and was not enough to constitute denial of the contract. It added that the government should have sought out the information, because the bid was the lowest.
The GAO was not swayed by the argument and insists on avoiding such government proposal mistakes. Its ruling stated, “[s]ince the protester’s failure to submit a signed JV agreement was a deficiency that rendered its proposal technically unacceptable, and clarifications do not envision revisions to proposals to cure matters of technical unacceptability, the protester could not have revised its proposal to make it acceptable via clarifications.”
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