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Government Shutdown May Impact A Contractor’s Ability to Obtain an Automatic CICA Stay When Filing a Bid Protest at GAO

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As we discussed last week, GAO issued a notice providing important guidance about its bid protest filing deadlines and procedures during the Government shutdown.  However, this notice was silent about one important issue: its impact on the CICA stay.  When filing a protest before the GAO during the shutdown, contractors should be aware that these interim limitations at GAO may impact a contractor’s ability to obtain an automatic CICA stay.  GAO is not providing the notices to agencies that trigger the stay (otherwise required within one calendar day).  The effect of the furlough on the statutory stay  has not been tested and is therefore uncertain.  As a result, contractors may desire to file their protests before the COFC to improve their chances to stay performance of the contract pending the resolution of the protest.