GAO Orders Redraft of Restrictive Tanker Specifications

By Paul Emanuelli

In its November 2017 decision in Global SuperTanker Services, LLC., the GAO ordered the redraft of a solicitation after finding that the government was unable to defend the challenged specifications. The case dealt with an RFP for airtanker services for wildlife firefighting. The complainant challenged the government’s 5000 gallon maximum size restrictions, arguing that it unduly limited competition. The GAO agreed, noting that the government had the onus of justifying restrictive specifications and stating that after reviewing the record it was “unable to conclude that the specifications included in the RFP are necessary to meet the agency’s needs.”