Yesterday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a group of bid protests to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Project Based Contract Administrators (PBCA) under the project-based Section 8 program. The next effect is that GAO advised HUD to cancel the NOFA.
More specifically, GAO determined it has jurisdiction to review administrative complaints or bid protests. The GAO found that the NOFA was meant to acquire good or services for use by the federal government, and HUD was required to use a procurement instrument to award the PBCA contracts. GAO recommended that HUD cancel the NOFA and solicit services through a procurement instrument.
HUD issued its NOFA on March 9, 2012. While the NOFA was the latest effort to bid out PBCA contracts to administer approximately 21,000 project based Section 8 assistance contracts, it was not the first. HUD originally issued a nationwide request for proposals (RFP) in 1999, with additional RFPs for certain contracts from 2001 to 2003, and an invitation for submission of applications (ISA) from 2003 to 2005. A nationwide ISA was issued in 2011, seeking a new PBCA structure, with one PBCA contractor in each state or territory (two for California). That 2011 ISA received 66 bid protests. HUD did not award under the 2011 ISA and instead issued a new bid opportunity with the 2012 NOFA.