Industrial Base Sole-Source Award Deficient
In Coulson Aviation (USA) Inc.; 10 Tanker Air Carrier, LLC; Minden Air Corp. (Mar. 31, 2014), GAO agreed with protesters, including one represented by Crowell & Moring, that the U.S. Forest Service had unlawfully awarded a sole-source contract with a potential value of nearly $500 million. After extensive briefing and a two-day hearing, GAO found that the sole-source award was invalid because the true basis for award had been honoring a settlement agreement promise to award the contract and the Justification & Approval supporting the award both (i) improperly relied on the factually inapplicable "industrial base" exception to the full and open competition requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act and (ii) failed to identify the critical facts relevant to the award.
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