Federal Manager's Daily Report

The General Accounting Office has ruled that federal

employees who lose their jobs through competitions do not

have individual appeal rights under the revised Office of

Management and Budget Circular A-76.


It reached its decision in response to a protest filed by

the National Federation of Federal Employees over the

Department of Agriculture’s decision to outsource fleet

maintenance services in the Pacific Southwest through

contractor SERCO Management Services, Inc.


USDA argued that NFFE lacked standing to protest the award

because it is not an “interested party” under the bid

protest provisions of the Competition and Contracting Act

of 1984 and the revised circular A-76. NFFE argued that

employees affected by the agency’s decision constitute an

interested party, and that NFFE was their statutory

representative.


GAO found, “that there is no statutory basis for an in-house

entity to file a protest.” A private sector firm would be

considered an interested party as, “an actual–offeror

whose direct economic interest would be affected by the

award of the contract or by failure to award the contract.”


GAO found that because federal employees could not be

considered prospective or actual offerors, it did not have

statutory authority to hear the Agriculture employee bid

protest.


GAO also sent a letter to Congress suggesting that it

consider creating an employee appeal right. The chair of

the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Susan

Collins, R-Maine, has introduced such legislation.