The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently set aside GSA’s award of a lease for the Transportation Security Administration’s (“TSA”) consolidated Northern Virginia Office. The TSA’s new office would have provided more than 600,000 square feet of rentable space for the administration. The Court of Federal Claims in Springfield Parcel C, LLC v. United States, held that a permanent injunction preventing GSA from proceeding with lease contract originally awarded to successful offeror was warranted. The court further held that GSA’s acceptance of an offer for space larger than the permitted maximum contained in the request for proposal contravened a material term in the proposal, and therefore, violated 40 U.S.C. § 3307(a). The failure to acquire appropriations for this lease, also violated the Anti-Deficiency Act, and therefore, the lease was void ab initio.
The Court, with this ruling, has carved out a right for would-be lessors to seek permanent injunctive remedies if an agency lease contract does not comply with the terms approved by Congress and articulated in the Request for Lease Proposal (“RLP”). Prior to this ruling, post award bid protests pertaining to a fully executed GSA lease did not pose a real threat to the government or the awardee. After this ruling government contractors should be very careful to follow any, and all, specifications found in the RLP when submitting their bid.