• R.D. Lieberman,Consultant

U.S. Mint Not Subject to Government Accountability Office Bid Protest Jurisdiction

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently confirmed that it has no bid protest jurisdiction over procurements made by the United States Mint. A-Z Cleaning Solutions. B-415228, Nov. 6, 2017.

GAO reiterated the fact that under the Competition in Contracting Act (“CICA”), it has jurisdiction to resolve bid protests, solicitations and contract awards that are issued by a “Federal Agency.” 31 U.S.C. § 3552(1). Federal Agencies include executive agencies or independent establishments in the executive branch.40 U.S.C. § 102(4), (5). However, when Congress established the U.S. Mint Public Enterprise Fund to finance operations of the Mint, it included a proviso stating that “provisions of law governing procurement or public contracts shall not be applicable to the procurement of goods or services necessary for carrying out Mint programs and operations.” 31 U.S.C. § 5136. Thus the U.S. Mint joins a small number of agencies that have been exempted from GAO bid protest jurisdiction. These agencies include the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Mint and the Presidio Trust.

The specific exemptions are described below. Even exempt agencies are likely subject to the bid protest jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Some of the exempt agencies have established special forums to consider bid protests of their agency’s procurements:

  • The U.S Postal Service (“USPS”) is an independent establishment of the executive branch which is expressly exempted from any “Federal law dealing with public or Federal Contracts,” except for those laws enumerated in 39 U.S.C. § 410(b). The Competition in Contracting Act, from which the GAO derives its bid protest jurisdiction, is not included in the list of statutes made applicable to the USPS under that section.

  • Bid protests of USPS procurements may be submitted to the Postal Service Law Department, Senior Counsel, Contract Protests and Policies, under procedures found in USPS Purchasing Manual Section 3.6.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition is an independent tribunal statutorily designated to hear all bid protests and contract disputes subject to the Acquisition Management System of the Federal Aviation Administration. The GAO Bid Protest jurisdiction does not apply to these procurements. 49 U.S.C. §40110(d)(2)(F).

  • Bid protests may be submitted to the FAA Office of Dispute Resolution pursuant to 14 C.F.R. Part 17.

  • The U.S. Mint, a federal agency within the Department of the Treasury, is not subject to the Government Accountability Office’s bid protest jurisdiction because its enabling legislation specifically states that “provisions of law governing procurement or public contracts shall not be applicable to the procurement of goods or services necessary for carrying out Mint Programs and operations.” 31 U.S.C. § 5136.

  • Bid protest forum not known

  • The Presidio Trust is a wholly-owned government corporation established to exercise administrative jurisdiction over the Presidio, a former military post in San Francisco, and to manage the leasing, maintenance, rehabilitation, repair and improvement of property within the Presidio under its jurisdiction. Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996 (Act), Pub.L. No. 104-333, §§ 103(a), (b), 104(a)-(c), 110 Stat. 4093, 4098, 4101 (1996).

  • Bid protest forum not known

Any protest you submit to the GAO regarding a procurement by any of these four agencies will be dismissed.

For other helpful suggestions on government contracting, visit:

Richard D. Lieberman’s FAR Consulting & Training at https://www.richarddlieberman.com/, and Mistakes in Government Contracting at https://richarddlieberman.wixsite.com/mistakes.

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The website of Richard Donald Lieberman, a government contracts consultant and retired attorney who is the author of both "The 100 Worst Mistakes in Government Contracting" (with Jason Morgan) and "The 100 Worst Government Mistakes in Government Contracting." Richard Lieberman concentrates on Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) consulting and training, including  commercial item contracting (FAR Part 12), compliance with proposal requirements (FAR Part 15 negotiated procurement), sealed bidding (FAR Part 14), compliance with solicitation requirements, contract administration (FAR Part 42), contract modifications and changes (FAR Part 43), subcontracting and flowdown requirements (FAR Part 44), government property (FAR Part 45), quality assurance (FAR Part 46), obtaining invoiced payments owed to contractors,  and other compliance with the FAR. Mr.Lieberman is also involved in numerous community service activities.  See LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-d-lieberman-3a25257a/.This website and blog are for educational and information purposes only.  Nothing posted on this website constitutes legal advice, which can only be obtained from a qualified attorney. Website Owner/Consultant does not engage in the practice of law and will not provide legal advice or legal services based on competence and standing in the law. Legal filings and other aspects of a legal practice must be performed by an appropriate attorney. Using this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Although the author strives to present accurate information, the information provided on this site is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date.  The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the author. FAR Consulting & Training, Bethesda, Maryland, Tel. 202-520-5780, rliebermanconsultant@gmail.com

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