May 27, 2014

Jenner & Block Partner Carrie F. Apfel won an appeal for client American Institutes for Research (AIR) related to a bid protest over a testing contract.  At issue is a major, multi-state contract for online common-core testing work.  The State of New Mexico awarded the contract to Pearson; AIR, a D.C.-based behavioral and social science research organization, alleged an unfair and biased bidding process.  The State dismissed the protest as untimely filed and AIR appealed that decision.  On May 27, 2014, a New Mexico judge upheld AIR’s appeal and ordered state officials to review AIR’s proteston the merits, saying that the request for proposals that New Mexico put forth was “ambiguous” about where bidding protests should be submitted, which would have confused AIR.  In an article about the ruling in Education Week, Carrie is quoted saying that the next step would be for a review of AIR’s protest to go before New Mexico’s state purchasing division.