b. The Coast Guard Ombudsman for Agency Protests. The Coast Guard Ombudsman for
Protests shall be the Head of the Contracting Activity (HCA). All solicitations for formal
contracts shall have the Notice for Filing Enclosure (1) affixed as a cover page.
5. GENERAL PROCEDURES. In accordance with FAR 33.103(b), interested parties must first
attempt informal resolution of their concerns with the responsible contracting officer. If
resolution with the contracting officer cannot be achieved, the interested party may, at its
option, seek an informal independent review by the Coast Guard Ombudsman for Agency
Protests (paragraph 5a. below). It is highly encouraged that all concerns unresolved by the
contracting officer be directed to the Ombudsman in the informal forum. If informal resolution
is unsuccessful, interested parties may then file a formal agency protest with either the
contracting officer or the Ombudsman, as referenced in FAR 33.103(d)(3) and (4), respectively.
The Ombudsman for Agency Protests shall make inquiries and take appropriate action to
resolve protest issues.
a. Informal forum with the Ombudsman. Interested parties who believe that a Coast Guard
procurement is unfair or otherwise defective should first direct their concerns to the
cognizant contracting officer. This can be accomplished through informal discussion
between the interested party and the contracting officer. If the contracting officer is unable
to satisfy the concerns of the interested party, the interested party is encouraged to contact
the Coast Guard Ombudsman for Agency Protest. Under this informal process, the agency
is not required to suspend contract award or performance. Use of an informal forum does
not suspend any time requirements for filing an agency protest or protest with another
forum. Interested parties should provide the following information to the Ombudsman in
order to ensure a timely response: solicitation/contract number, contracting office,
contracting officer, and solicitation closing date (if applicable).
b. Formal Agency Protest with the Ombudsman. Prior to submitting a formal agency protest,
protesters must first use their best efforts to resolve concerns through the contracting officer
through open and frank discussion. If the protester's concerns are unresolved, an
independent review is available by the Ombudsman. The protester may file a formal agency
protest to either the contracting officer or the Ombudsman. Agency protests must be filed
timely in accordance with FAR 33.103(e). Contract performance shall be suspended
pending the agency's resolution of the protest, unless contract award is justified, in writing,
for urgent and compelling reasons or is determined in writing to be in the best interest of the
Government. The following information must be provided when filing a formal agency
protest with the Ombudsman.
(1) Protest Filing Requirements. A copy of the protest must clearly indicate that it is being
filed pursuant to the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program for Agency Protests (OPAP)
procedures. The protest must contain all the information as set forth in FAR
33.103(d)(2). The OPAP protest shall be marked as being filed under
OPAP. All protests filed with OPAP should be addressed as follows: