Partner Milt Johns, on behalf of GOV Services Inc., a small, disadvantaged business filed a bid protest suit in the Court of Federal Claims on Aug. 15. The suit alleges the National Institutes of Health (NIH) fabricated an emergency situation in order to improperly award janitorial services contracts to a corporation on a sole-source basis.
The NIH said it hired Akima Support Operations LLC on a sole-source basis to avoid a gap in service after another janitorial services company suddenly walked off the job. GOV Services argued the other company had been forced off the job by NIH, and thus the emergency was NIH’s own creation.
In just one of several disputes related to this issue, the Government Accountability Office found the NIH had wrongly delayed taking corrective action and should reimburse GOV Services for the costs of its initial protest at the GAO.
GOV Services is now asking the Court of Federal Claims for an order that it is entitled to bid for the disputed work under the Small Business Administration’s section 8(a) regulations.
“Our client simply wants a level playing field and an ability to compete for work according to fairly implemented procedures and regulations,” Mr. Johns said.