Shall means shall! Awardee loses contract when registration lapses for 24 hours…

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest against the Navy in TLS Joint Venture, LLC, B-422275, April 1, 2024, when it found that the Awardee’s registration had lapsed. The solicitation contained FAR Clause 52.204-7 which requires an entity to maintain continuous registration in

“An Offeror is required to be registered in SAM when submitting an offer or quotation, and shall continue to be registered until time of award, during performance, and through final payment of any contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchasing agreement resulting from this solicitation. 52.204-7(b)(1).”

With this continuous requirement in mind, the Navy argued that the Awardee did maintain continuous registration as the Awardee submitted its renewal registration (12/8) before the expiration date (12/11). The GAO disagreed. The GAO pointed out FAR 52.204-7 includes what it means to be “Registered in the System for Award Management,” noting that not only does the definition require the offeror/contractor to renew its registration but requires the Government to process and mark the offeror/contractor’s registration as “active.” The Government marked the Awardee’s registration “active” on 12/12, 24 hours after the Awardee’s status expired. The GAO found that the Awardee’s registration had lapsed.

The GAO recommended the Navy terminate the award for convenience for failure to comply with the terms of the solicitation and make a new award.

This decision is a reminder that continued FAR compliance is not something to worry about on occasion, but part of a contractor’s daily routine. Fluet’s Government Contracts Practice are here to help contractors avoid pitfalls like this. To learn more about the team and their robust capabilities, click here.