CACI, Inc.-Federal v. United States, No. 22-1488 (Fed. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The Army issued a solicitation for a Next Generation Load Device Medium to encrypt and decrypt sensitive information on the battlefield, stating that in order to be eligible for the award Offerors must receive a minimum of acceptable rating in each Technical Subfactor. CACI's initial proposal received a Technical/Risk Rating of unacceptable because it failed to provide for two-factor authentication for all modes of operation as required by the solicitation. Nonetheless, CACI’s proposal was included in the competitive range. CACI was allowed to submit a final proposal. The Army assigned three deficiencies to CACI’s proposal related to its two-factor authentication proposal, making CACI ineligible for the award. The Army awarded the contract to others. CACI filed a bid protest challenging the technical deficiencies.
The Claims Court dismissed CACI’s complaint for lack of standing under a new theory not raised before the contracting officer–that CACI had an organizational conflict of interest that could not be waived or mitigated, which made CACI ineligible for the award. Alternatively, the Claims Court found that, even if CACI had standing, the Army acted reasonably in its assessment of CACI’s proposal. The Federal Circuit held that the Claims Court erred in treating the statutory standing issue as jurisdictional but affirmed on the merits.