Detica – b-400523 (Dec. 2, 2008)

OK Produce; Coast Citrus Distributors - B-299058; B-299058.2 (February 2, 2007)

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OK Produce; Coast Citrus Distributors - B-299058; B-299058.2 (February 2, 2007)

Our role, within the confines of a bid protest, is to determine whether any action of the former government employee may have resulted in prejudice for, or on behalf of, the awardee during the award selection process. See Creative Mgmt. Tech., Inc., B‑266299, Feb. 9, 1996, 96-1 CPD para. 61 at 7. Specifically, we review whether an offeror may have prepared its proposal with knowledge of inside information sufficient to establish a strong likelihood that the offeror gained an unfair competitive advantage in the procurement. PRC, Inc., B‑274698.2, B-274698.3, Jan. 23, 1997, 97-1 CPD para. 115 at 19-20. Our review includes consideration of whether the former government employee had access to competitively useful information, as well as whether the individual’s activities with the firm likely resulted in disclosure of such information. Id. An individual’s familiarity with the type of work required under a solicitation from prior government employment is not, by itself, evidence of an unfair competitive advantage. Id. Consistent with our finding in the Philadelphia case, we conclude here that, even if this individual’s prior employment with DeCA had given him access to inside information regarding the agency’s initial produce procurements, it appears much, if not all, of the alleged inside information has in fact been shared with the produce industry through the agency’s informational roundtables, and thus cannot be characterized as inside information. As we noted in the Philadelphia decision, the consultant signed a non-disclosure agreement certifying that he would not disclose contractor or source-selection information that he may have learned as an evaluator. Moreover, as in that case, there is no indication in this record that the awardee’s proposal was prepared based on any inside information. This advice does not suggest the use of inside information, or, for that matter, any information that could reasonably be found to have provided an unfair competitive advantage to this experienced firm. Rather, the record here shows that the awardee’s favorable evaluation was based on the strength of the firm’s established business operations and experience, described in its comprehensive technical proposal. Accordingly, we have no reason to question the propriety of the awards.

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