“[The exceptions to competitive bidding practices enumerated in CICA’s Section 2304(c)], including the sole source exception, reference situations in which either a national emergency or a narrow set of compelling circumstances requires that a branch of the armed services must contract with a particular private entity. As we have noted, the Comptroller General’s opinion cites one such exception, now located in the CICA’s Section 2304(c)(3)(A), which allows the Army to negotiate a contract with a private supplier, without regard for competitive practices, when it is necessary to do so to prepare for a national emergency or to achieve industrial mobilization. As in that example, it is not difficult to imagine circumstances in which the Army would need to contract with the sole source of a particular item without regard for the cost analysis required by the Arsenal Act. The Arsenal Act’s legislative history, bolstered by the Comptroller General’s interpretation, counsels that, in such circumstances, the Army should be able to contract with the private entity without first satisfying the requirements of the Arsenal Act.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Mihm, J., Ripple, J.