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GAO Dismisses Bid Protest after DoD Accepts Protester's Proposal

Updated February 25, 2003


One of the seven bid protests to the GAO has been dismissed after the DoD (Air Force) decided to accept the solicitation of Perkins Engineering in spite of the calamity that occurred on the DoD's SBIR submission web site on January 15, 2003. The move for dismissal was handled by GAO attorney Tania Calhoun only after the DoD made assurances of their acceptance of Perkins' proposal.

Perkins tried many times, unsuccessfully to submit their proposal earlier on the DoD deadline date of January 15, 2003. After several failures, Perkins Engineering contacted their attorney who allowed them to try to upload from his office's T-1 broadband internet connection. After this too failed, Perkins made a last ditch effort from their own office and tried to upload their PDF file (reported to be 100%) but they received no message of a "proof of upload." In fact, they received just the opposite, a "write to file denied" message. This final upload attempt occurred at 5:46 pm EST.

As of this time their are still six other bid protests pending with the GAO, and hundreds more that were disenfranchised due to the DoD system problems.

Ann Eskesen of the Innovation Development Institute, developed a survey to help determine how widespread this problem was. She learned that a large number of companies were having submission problems well before the deadline date. Results of the survey can be found on their web site at http://www.inknowvation.com.

There are some changes going on at the DoD. Ivory Fisher, DoD SBIR Program Manager has taken a leave of absence and will be retiring shortly. It is not expected that he will return to his position. Jeff Bond, well known and respected former SBIR program manager for BMDO (now MDA), is filling Fisher's SBIR duties on an interim basis. It has also been suggested, based on additional information presented, that the DoD may be reevaluating their decision regarding the rejected proposals.





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