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GAO Sustains TRICARE Protest On Multiple Grounds

November 18, 2009

In Health Net Fed Servs., Inc. (Nov. 4, 2009), GAO sustained the protest of Health Net (represented by C&M) against a $16 billion TRICARE award because (1) the agency's past performance evaluation unreasonably gave the awardee significant credit for contracts much smaller than the contract to be awarded and improperly attributed to the awardee the past performance of the awardee's parent and its affiliates; (2) the agency's price realism evaluation failed to consider whether the awardee's staffing reflected a lack of understanding of the technical requirements; (3) the agency overlooked the risk associated with the awardee's proposed plan to hire large percentages of the incumbent workforce; and (4) the agency did not consider, as part of the technical evaluation, the cost savings associated with the protester's proposed approach. In addition to the fatal evaluation errors, GAO also determined that the awardee's use of a former high-level government employee in preparing its proposal created an appearance of impropriety based on the unfair competitive advantage stemming from the individual's earlier access to non-public, proprietary, and source-selection-sensitive information.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Thomas P. Humphrey
Retired Partner – Washington, D.C.

John E. McCarthy Jr.
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2579

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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