The solicitation incorporated FAR 52.204-7(b)(1), which requires offerors to be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) until the time of award. The awardee was registered with SAM when it submitted its proposal. But the registration lapsed while the agency evaluated proposals. The awardee re-registered before award. The COFC found the re-registration could not save the awardee. The FAR clearly requires SAM registration to continue until award. The lapse during the evaluation made the awardee ineligible.
Myriddian, LLC v. United States, COFC No. 23-443
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a solicitation. The solicitation incorporated FAR 52.204-7(b)(1). That provision states an offeror must be registered with SAM when submitting an offer and shall continue to be registered until award.
After reviewing offers, CMS selected Cloud Harbor Economics, LLC for award. An unsuccessful offeror, Myrridian, LLC, filed a protest with the Court of Federal Claims. Myrridian argued Cloud Harbor’s SAM registration had lapsed after the company submitted its proposal. Thus, Myriddian reasoned, Cloud Harbor was ineligible under FAR 52.204-7(b)(1). Myriddian moved to enjoin the award to Cloud Harbor.
The government argued Cloud Harbor’s lapse wasn’ t fatal because the company was registered when it submitted its bid, and it was registered when the agency issued the award. The registration had only lapsed while the agency evaluated proposals.
But the court reasoned this was a distinction without a difference. FAR 52.204-7(b)(1) unambiguously requires an offeror be registered when they submit a proposal and to continue to be registered until award.
The government argued the lapse was just a minor irregularity that Cloud Harbor could correct. Offerors are allowed to correct minor irregularities under FAR Part 14. This solicitation, however, was a negotiated procurement under FAR part 15.
The court found Myrridian was likely to succeed on the merits. The court granted the request for a preliminary injunction.
–Case summary by Craig LaChance, Senior Editor