Detica – b-400523 (Dec. 2, 2008)

Aetna Government Health Plans, Inc. – B-254397 (July 27, 1995) (Seminal Case)

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Aetna Government Health Plans, Inc. – B-254397 (July 27, 1995) (Seminal Case)

Significant OCI exists where an affiliate of one offeror’s major subcontractor evaluates proposals for the procuring agency. While FAR subpart 9.5 does not explicitly address the role of affiliates in the various types of OCI, there is no basis to distinguish between a firm and its affiliates, at least where concerns about potentially biased ground rules and impaired objectivity are at issue. Agency must act reasonable in assessing an OCI by making an independent effort to gather relevant facts. This legal opinion set the parameters for the 3 types of OCI (unequal access to info., biased ground rules, impaired objectivity). The facts that are required to exclude an offeror are those which establish the existence of the OCI, not the specific impact of that conflict. Once the facts establishing the existing of the OCI are present, reasonable steps must be taken to avoid, mitigate, or neutralize the conflict. OCI calls into question the integrity of the competitive procurement process and does not require any special prejudice to be shown to warrant corrective action.


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