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Army Can't Bypass Competition Without Court Scrutiny

Feb.18.2004

Noting the Army "may not disregard" legal constraints "under the auspices of an unusual and compelling urgency," the Court of Federal Claims, in Filtration Development Co. v. U.S. (Feb. 3, 2004), held that a court can review an Army decision to bypass competitive procedures on the basis of "urgent and compelling circumstances" even when those circumstances – rapid deterioration of helicopters in Iraq – involve military needs of mobilized forces. The court rejected the argument that it had no standards against which to review the Army decision, stating that it could review the Army's written justification for rationality and the "fact that the ultimate destination . . . is Iraq does not alter this proposition."

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