The Competition in Contracting Act requires agencies to stay performance of contracts protested at GAO. But agencies may authorize performance anyway by issuing an override after a written finding that immediate performance either serves the best interests of the U.S., or if urgent and compelling circumstances require it.  Judges at the Court of Federal Claims have taken varying approaches when reviewing an override decision, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has not articulated a specific standard of review.

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“With an override, the bottom line is that the decision needs to be reasonable—that is what the Administrative Procedure Act standard of review calls for,” said Michelle E. Litteken of PilieroMazza PLLC in Washington.

The four-part test “provides one approach to assessing whether the decision is reasonable, but those factors are not the sole standard to adjudicate the issue,” she said.

To view the full article “Feds May Be Real Winners if Appeal Helps ‘Confused’ Contractors,” please visit Bloomberg Law’s website (subscription required).