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According to the protester, the record shows that SRA had access to a wide array of nonpublic, competitively useful information about DSFG that provided it with an unfair competitive advantage in preparing its quotation. We note at the outset that there is no dispute in the record regarding the types of information to which Mr. The record includes a letter written by the contracting officer to SRA inquiring about Mr. That letter provides: From 22 February 2011 to , Mr.DSFG's arguments in general relate to all of the events described above, and in particular, to the activities of Mr. [Y] was the IV&V Project Manager, one of the named Key Personnel, on the EDUCATE IV&V contract. [Y] had unfettered access to DSFG proposals, performance reports, and other contractual artifacts, such as root cause analysis reports, and internal discussions, and he interacted with a wide-array of Government officials, to include the Chief Information Officer, the Deputy Chief Information Officer, and various other directors. [Y's] insights are highly qualified and based on facts that were not public and were not intended for use by a competitor of DSFG.On the contrary, the record shows that both individuals currently are employed by Ambit, not AGI. 15, Letter and Affidavits from AGI to the Agency, Jan. In addition, both individuals represented under oath that they did nothing more than give AGI permission to propose them for possible positions under the resulting task order being solicited; that they did not participate in proposal preparation activities for, or on behalf of, AGI; and that, by virtue of being bound by nondisclosure agreements, they did not share any information learned while working for Ambit with AGI. In particular, the record shows that the contracting officer based his finding that there was an appearance of an OCI entirely on the possibility that the two individuals in question may have had access to procurement sensitive information. and at some time prior to the last year, [he] actually accessed those USCIS systems containing procurement sensitive information. this essentially amounts to a private dispute between private parties that we will not consider absent evidence of government involvement." The GEO Group, Inc., B-405012, July 26, 2011, 2011 CPD 153 at 6; Ellwood Nat'l Forge Co., B-402089.3, Oct. MSH acknowledges that an unequal access to information OCI could not ordinarily arise through the voluntary business relationship between a subcontractor and prime contractor. Nonetheless, MSH asserts that an OCI exists under these facts because its subagreement relationship with Pathfinder under the E2A cooperative agreement was not voluntarily arranged between the two firms, but was arranged by the agency.He states as follows: There does, however, appear to be an appearance of conflict of interest based upon 1) the fact that both [the program manager and intermediate program manager] supervised personnel who had access to procurement sensitive information; and 2) [the intermediate program manager] had access to USCIS [United States Customs and Immigration Services] systems containing procurement sensitive information, . While the conflict of interest posed by [the program manager and intermediate program manager] supervising Ambit personnel who had access to procurement sensitive information may have been mitigated by the undefined Ambit firewall; the fact that [the intermediate program manager] currently has access to USCIS systems containing USCIS procurement sensitive information (notwithstanding his protestations that he has not actually accessed the procurement sensitive information in those systems within the last year) gives rise to an appearance of conflict of interest. 16, Letter from the Contracting Office to AGI, Feb. In light of these considerations, we sustain AGIs protest. B-415886.2: Jun 1, 2018)The FAR recognizes that conflicts may arise in factual situations not expressly described in the relevant FAR sections, and advises contracting officers to examine each situation individually and to exercise "common sense, good judgment, and sound discretion" in assessing whether a significant potential conflict exists and in developing an appropriate way to resolve it. However, as relevant here, our Office has recognized that, "where information is obtained by one firm directly from another firm . According to MSH, since Pathfinder, and ultimately Abt, obtained MSH's proprietary information at the direction of USAID, there is the requisite "government involvement" to give rise to an OCI, in contrast to the purely private disputes described in our Office's decisions in Geo Group and Ellwood.In light of the facts giving rise to an appearance of a conflict of interest, I am reaffirming that Archimedes Global Inc. AGI argues that it was unreasonable for the agency to disqualify it from consideration, principally because the agencys analysis ignored the fact that the individuals in question are not AGI employees and did not participate in the preparation of AGIs proposal. In challenging an agencys identification of a disqualifying conflict of interest, a protester must demonstrate that the agencys determination did not rely on hard facts, but instead was based on mere inference or supposition of an actual conflict of interest, or is otherwise unreasonable. Chief among our concerns is the fact that the contracting officer, without any underlying evidence, concluded that, because there was a possibility that the individuals in question may have had access to competitively useful, non-public information, that information necessarily was provided to AGI.

[Y]'s role ended as the EDUCATE IV&V Key Personnel, and PIVOT-H was released approximately eleven (11) months after his role ended.] Reports and types of information that Mr. [Y], by virtue of his role in the EDUCATE IV&V contract, had privileged access to, and learned, information that is proprietary to DSFG and which is confidential information related to DSFG's current EDUCATE solution and performance, information which other Department contractor[s], let alone outsiders, would not know. 35, Letter from the Contracting Officer to SRA, Sept. Y during their proposal preparation activities, and that he participated actively in preparing the SRA proposal.

Y and his participation in preparing the SRA quotation. That contract was awarded by the Department to SD Tech. [The original document included a footnote at the end of the preceding sentence that provided as follows: Mr.

For the reasons discussed below, we sustain DSFG's contention that the agency has not properly considered whether SRA has an unfair competitive advantage here. [Y] had access to detailed information on DSFG's EDUCATE solution, related technologies and approaches, and contract performance data as recently as May 26, 2016.

This information was requested and given not because SRA was seeking to discover the "non-public" or proprietary information of DSFG, but instead was sought out to better understand the Department's operating environment so that SRA and its team could be responsive to a potential customer's needs.

This general information, based on the opinions or observations of Mr.

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