The suspension of a small business’s FedBid account was improper because the matter was not referred to the SBA under the SBA’s certificate of competency procedures.
In an important decision for small businesses participating in reverse auctions, the GAO recently held that FedBid could not properly suspend a small business’s user account for a supposed lack of “business integrity,” thereby causing the small business to be ineligible to bid on a federal solicitation, without a referral to the SBA.
The GAO’s decision in Latvian Connection, LLC, B-410947 (Mar. 31, 2015) involved a Department of State solicitation for first aid kits and related medical supplies. DOS conducted the solicitation as a reverse auction on FedBed. The solicitation was set aside for small businesses.
Latvian Connection, LLC, wished to compete for the award. However, in July 2014, FedBid suspended Latvian Connection’s FedBid user account. The FedBid suspension notice stated, in part: “System and Business Integrity: Latvian Connection has taken actions to repeatedly and purposely interfere with FedBid’s business relationships.”
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