In every year, the United States government buys services and goods of almost one trillion dollars from private contractors which means anybody who provide services or sell products can be contracted by the government. Steingold 2006 explain that, the main problem is that small businesses are not given a chance to do business with the government. They protest that when procurement is being done there is nothing that is set aside for the small businesses, the agency makes sure that all that is needed for procurement is available under the (FSS) Federal Supply Schedule.
Another issue is that the agency claims the protesters don't meet the requirement for them to qualify to be contracted, which the protesters claims that the agency unfairly and unreasonably evaluated them. Finally the General Accounting Office didn't consider the protest's merits which they claimed that the procuring agency violated the Small Business Act by not following it's office supply requirement. They claimed that the protesters did not demonstrate any possibility of being prejudiced by the agency through the bundling.
Rule Contract is an agreement that is done between two parties and no party can change it unless the other party has agreed to change it. Mechem 2001 states that, The two parties concerned has no obligation of checking the term to see if the other party has changed them. Analysis There was a protest against the award that was given by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) to Corporate Express Inc. of a blanket purchase agreement (BPA). Future Solution Inc.
which is a small business concern argued that, small businesses were not given equal opportunities to complete the requirements hence the requirements have to be set aside for the small business concern. The offender denied the protest and argued that RFQ consulted before awarding BPA for the procurement of all the office supplies. A great emphasis was regarding the environmentally preferable products (EPP) and all products for the severely handicapped organization and those for organizations for the blind. According to law as authorized by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act, 41 U. S. C. § 46-48c (2000).
The contract for the products of those groups were to be supplied by vendors who were required to be current holders of the contracts under the (FSS) Federal Supply Schedule, (GSA) General service Administrators and Office supply products and equipment. After proper evaluation of four large business belonging to FSI contractors, the contracting officer came to a conclusion that no small business FSI contractors was in a position to meet the RFQ requirements thus all the contracts that were given to those businesses were canceled and the BPA was awarded to the Corporate Express, Inc.
This made the EPA, in accordance with FAR § 8. 404(b)(2), to conduct a competition test among the four companies whose contracts were canceled to determine which company was doing better than the others. This was because all the four companies were canceled at ago without even giving them a chance to prove their capabilities. For example, FSI claimed to be having thousand of green products which were available for purchase, but they did not state the quantity of products they had offered on it's on-line ordering system if they met the EPA's EPP criteria.
This shows that the FSI didn't have the required information on EPA”s main requirements. EPA had evaluated the FSI'S on-line system and found it to be very far from the set standards which means that, they did not have proper information concerning what was expected from them. On the same note FSI talked about a recycling program for batteries and toner cartridges which was to be established but they had not done any research concerning the project thus they could not even tell of how the recycle plan was to work neither did they have any track records of the same project.
Instead of FSI concentrating on it's business and put it's house in order by trying to understand what they are missing or what they are ignoring in their system, FSI claimed to have been treated unfairly from the solicited large business vendor. They argued that the large business vendors were favored to the extent that they were not subjected to the same limitations and that they were even given opportunities to have discussions and even to make oral presentations.
What the FSI failed to understand was that the agency was not suppose to treat them the same way since they failed to explain clearly if all the small business were in a position to met all the BPA requirements. Conclusion Even though the FSI were complaining about the agency not considering the small business when giving out the government contracts, the problem was not with the agency but with them.
This is because FSI failed to meet all Requirements that should be met for any business to get the contracts. All that they were suppose to do was to understand the requirements well to explain them to the small businesses and then from there they could be able to emphasis on them and hence enter into a healthy competition with the other large vendor whom they claim to have been favored by the agencies.