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Bias Allegations Require Agency Depositions, COFC Concludes

April 6, 2016, Federal Contracts Report

Scott Freling is quoted in a Federal Contracts Report article regarding a recent COFC ruling that allowed Starry, an IT firm challenging solicitation cancellation, to depose HHS officials due to an alleged bias. According to Freling, allegations of bias often fail to gain traction during bid protest litigation because it is difficult to allege sufficient evidence to overcome the presumption that government officials act in good faith. He continues, “even if a bid protester has sufficient evidence of bias, the protester must show that it was prejudiced by that bias. In the context of a best-value trade-off, for example, the Court of Federal Claims or the GAO is unlikely to find prejudice if an agency can identify a single plausible, non-bias reason for its award decision.”

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