TMI Management Systems, Inc.

2009 WL 3108215 (2009)

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TMI Management Systems, Inc.

United States Government Accountability Office
2009 WL 3108215 (2009)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (defendant) posted a notice regarding the issuance of its Request for Proposals (RFP) on the Federal Business Opportunities website (FedBizOpps). FEMA’s RFP was for a contract to provide maintenance, disposition, and transportation services for temporary housing units (THUs) across the United States. FEMA posted its notice on FedBizOpps under procurement classification code 99, for miscellaneous products. The RFP provided a detailed, accurate description of the services solicited. After the window for submitting proposals closed, TMI Management Systems, Inc. (TMI) (plaintiff) submitted a protest to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) arguing that FEMA violated the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) by listing its FedBizOpps solicitation notice under an inappropriate procurement classification code. Specifically, TMI argued that, rather than using procurement code 99 for miscellaneous products, FEMA should have listed the solicitation notice under either (1) procurement code M, for operation of government owned facilities; or (2) procurement code R, for professional, administration, and management support services. TMI claimed that FEMA’s failure to appropriately classify its FedBizOpps notice made it impossible for TMI, and other similar contractors, to locate the notice and thereby stifled full and open competition. TMI had an existing blanket purchase agreement contract with FEMA to provide substantially similar THU support services. FEMA challenged, arguing that a prudent contractor would have searched FedBizOpps by keyword, which would have pulled up FEMA’s solicitation notice, rather than relying on the procurement codes.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gordon, J.)

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