Articles Posted in Government Contracts

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In September 2003, Bachner Company Inc. entered into a contract with the Alaska Department of Administration, to lease portions of the Denali Building in Fairbanks. After a ten-year lease term and a one-year renewal, Bachner alleged that the State was in default on its rent payments, and it filed suit in superior court to recover. The State moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the claim was governed by the Alaska State Procurement Code and that Bachner had failed to exhaust its remedies under the code before filing suit. The superior court agreed and granted the State’s motion to dismiss. Bachner appealed. After review, the Supreme Court concluded the procurement code covered a rent dispute over an ongoing lease, that the Bachner's claim fell under the procurement code, and Bachner had to exhaust its administrative remedies before filing suit in superior court. View "Bachner Company Incorporated v. State, Dept. of Administration" on Justia Law

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The Department of Administration, Division of General Services accepted a 15-page response to a request for proposals for renovations to the Governor's House. The request stated that responses should not exceed 10 pages. Competing bidder Silver Bow Construction Construction argued this variance from the request obligated the Division to reject the 15-page response. Because the Division reasonably concluded that this variance did not give the 15-page response any substantial advantage, the Supreme Court affirmed the superior court’s decision to uphold the Division’s decision to accept this response. View "Silver Bow Construction v. Alaska Dept. of Administration" on Justia Law

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A state agency issued a request for proposals for legal services. A law firm delivered its proposal after the submission deadline, but the procurement officer accepted the proposal and forwarded it to the evaluation committee. After the agency issued a notice of intent to award that law firm the contract, a second law firm protested, alleging that the evaluation committee made scoring errors and that consideration of the late-filed proposal was barred by a relevant regulation and the request for proposals. The procurement officer sustained the protest, rescinded the original award, and awarded the second law firm the contract. The first law firm then protested, claiming: (1) the second law firm’s protest should not have been considered because it was filed after the protest deadline; (2) the first law firm’s proposal was properly accepted because the delay in submission was immaterial; and (3) the second law firm’s proposal was nonresponsive because that firm lacked a certificate of authority to transact business in Alaska. The procurement officer rejected that protest and the first law firm filed an administrative appeal. The administrative agency denied the appeal, and the first law firm appealed the agency decision to the superior court, which affirmed the administrative agency ruling. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the administrative agency acted reasonably in accepting the second law firm’s late-filed protest and deeming that firm’s proposal responsive notwithstanding its lack of a certificate of authority. Furthermore, the Court concluded the agency’s interpretation that its regulation barred acceptance of the first firm’s late-filed proposal is reasonable and consistent with statute. Therefore, the Court affirmed the superior court’s decision upholding the final agency decision. View "Davis Wright Tremaine LLP v. Alaska, Dept. of Administration" on Justia Law

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Bachner Company and Bowers Investment Company were unsuccessful bidders on a public contract proposal. They filed a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic opportunity against four individual procurement committee members. The superior court found that the bidders failed to present a genuine issue of material fact regarding the committee members' alleged bad faith conduct. The superior court then held that the committee members were protected by qualified immunity and that the lawsuit was barred by the exclusive remedy statute. The bidders thereafter appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the bidders indeed failed to present a genuine issue of material fact regarding the committee members' alleged bad faith. Furthermore, the exclusive remedy statute barred the bidders' suit. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's decision. View "Bachner Company, Inc. v. Weed" on Justia Law

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Sea Hawk Seafoods, Inc. sued the City of Valdez for damages after Valdez applied for a grant from the State of Alaska for funding to convert Sea Hawk's seafood processing facility into a fish meal plant but then declined to accept the $600,000 grant that the State conditionally awarded to Valdez. On pre-trial motions, the superior court dismissed Sea Hawk's claims for breach of contract, breach of an agreement to negotiate, and breach of a duty to negotiate in good faith. Valdez and Sea Hawk filed cross-motions for summary judgment on Sea Hawk's remaining claim for promissory estoppel, which the court denied. Shortly before trial, the court dismissed Sea Hawk's promissory estoppel claim as a discovery sanction. Sea Hawk and Valdez both appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed: Sea Hawk's claims were based on statements made and a letter sent by the Valdez City Manager to the owner of Sea Hawk. Because these communications, even when viewed in the light most favorable to Sea Hawk, were insufficient as a matter of law to support Sea Hawk's claims. The Court reversed the lower court's ruling denying Valdez summary judgment on Sea Hawk's promissory estoppel claim. View "Sea Hawk Seafoods, Inc. v. City of Valdez" on Justia Law