Close X
Attorney Spotlight

How does Jordana Nelson's prior experience as a general counsel inform her work with firm clients? Read more>


Close X


Search our Experience

Experience Spotlight

The M&A Advisor Winner 2017The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 16th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Monday, November 13 at the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards. Bass, Berry & Sims was named a winner in the two categories related to the following deals:

M&A Deal of the Year (from $1B-$5B) – Acquisition of CLARCOR Inc. by Parker Hannifin Corporation

Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year (over $1B) – Acquisition of BNC Bancorp by Pinnacle Financial Partners

Close X

Thought Leadership

Enter your search terms in the relevant box(es) below to search for specific Thought Leadership.
To see a recent listing of Thought Leadership, click the blue Search button below.

Thought Leadership Spotlight

Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

Read now

GovCon Blog: Learning from Bid Protests: Non-GSA Contract Holders Can Submit Offers Through a Contract Holder—If They Follow the Rules


September 30, 2014

The government contracting industry is extremely competitive, which is not a surprise given the $500+ billion dollars in federal procurement spending up for grabs each year. This competition certainly gives government contractors ample incentive to seek out any useful information that may provide even a small advantage in their procurement activities. Bid protest decisions can be one such source of useful information, often providing valuable insight into the procurement process.

One bid protest decision may focus on a contractor's mistakes which led to its proposal being rejected from competition, serving as a how-to-guide of sorts showing contractors what not to do. Another bid protest decision may instead highlight errors made by the agency, giving contractors a blueprint of what agency actions/inactions to look out for in their own procurements that may lead to sustainable protests. Whatever the issue, knowledgeable contractors can utilize this information to avoid missteps and properly protect their interests in the potentially lucrative government contracting space.

Another useful aspect of bid protest decisions is that some decisions, while pointing out avoidable defects in proposals, can also shine a light on obscure rules and regulations which may open up contracting avenues not otherwise considered. GAO released a bid protest decision last week which may provide an example of this notion.

Océ Government Services, Inc. involved a GSA Regulation (GSAR), which allows companies without GSA schedule contracts to submit an offer to a procuring agency on behalf of a company that holds a GSA schedule contract. GSAR clauses 552.216-73 and 552.232-82 allow a GSA schedule contract holder to authorize a separate company to act as a "participating dealer" under their schedule contract. As long as the participating dealer complies with the applicable provisions of the GSAR, it can submit, receive and accept payment for orders under the schedule holder’s contract.

The key, however, is that the participating dealer must follow the applicable regulations. The foremost of which requires the participating dealer to submit offers on behalf of, or in the name of, the actual schedule holder. Participating dealers are not permitted to submit offers in their own name.

In this case, while Océ referenced the schedule holder and the schedule contract, it did not make it clear that the proposal was being submitted in the name of a schedule holder. Rather, the proposal was submitted on Océ letterhead and provided Océ's address, tax ID number, DUNS number, and cage code. The proposal was also signed by an officer of Océ, and named Océ as the offeror in both the technical and price proposals.

The Agency rejected Océ's proposal, eliminating Océ from the competition, which led to the protest. GAO agreed with the agency that Océ failed to properly identify itself as a participating dealer that was submitting a proposal in the name of a schedule contract holder. As a result, GAO determined that Océ's proposal was properly rejected and dismissed the protest.

It is paramount that a contractor submits an adequately written proposal including all necessary information in accordance with the solicitation and federal regulations. This bid protest decision provides a good example of the potential consequences for failure to do so. A slight adjustment in Océ's proposal— providing more information on the schedule holder and indicating the offer was submitted in its name—likely would have kept Océ's proposal from being excluded from the competition. This simple mistake cost Océ a chance of receiving an award.

For more Government Contracts information, visit

Related Professionals

Related Services


Visiting, or interacting with, this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Although we are always interested in hearing from visitors to our website, we cannot accept representation on a new matter from either existing clients or new clients until we know that we do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent us from doing so. Therefore, please do not send us any information about any new matter that may involve a potential legal representation until we have confirmed that a conflict of interest does not exist and we have expressly agreed in writing to the representation. Until there is such an agreement, we will not be deemed to have given you any advice, any information you send may not be deemed privileged and confidential, and we may be able to represent adverse parties.