Agency Protest Official
Maria Swaby, Agency Protest Official
Government contractors may protest a GSA procurement action awarded by a GSA Contracting Officer to the GSA Agency Protest Official through the Contracting Officer. This does not include task orders issued under a GSA Schedule umbrella contract. Those protests need to be protested directly to the Agency that issued the task order and whose contracting official made a decision.
The APO’s authority is derived from Executive Order 12979. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 33.1 and the General Services Acquisition Manual (GSAM) 533.1 contain the rules and procedures that govern the agency protest process. Disputes before the APO are normally resolved in a more timely manner than disputes presented to the Government Accountability Office due to the FAR’s 35-day rule regarding agency protests (see FAR 33.103(g)).
Please note that pursuant to FAR 16.505(a)(10), protests are not authorized in connection with the issuance or proposed issuance of an order under a task-order contract or delivery-order contract, except for
(A) A protest on the grounds that the order increases the scope, period, or maximum value of the contract; or
(B) A protest of an order valued in excess of $10 million. Protests of orders in excess of $10 million may be filed with the Government Accountability Officer, in accordance with the procedures at FAR 33.104.
The authority to protest the placement of an order under FAR 16.505(a)(10)(i)(B) expires on September 30, 2016, for agencies other than DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard (41 U.S.C. 4103(d) and 41 U.S.C. 4106(f)). The authority to protest the placement of an order under FAR 16.505(a)(10)(i)(B) does not expires for DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard.