The GAO sustained a bid protest challenging the terms of a US Army solicitation for telecommunications equipment because the Army failed to establish that a requirement for equipment certification at the time of proposal submission was necessary to meet the agency’s needs. SMARTnet, Inc., B-400651.2, Jan. 27, 2009, 2009 CPD ¶ 34. The Army required the equipment to be certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC), a part of the Defense Information Systems Agency that provides testing and certification of information technology systems and equipment. The protester argued that requiring this certification at the time of proposal submission was unduly restrictive of competition because the JITC certification process is time-consuming and is only performed at two sites in the United States. As a result, the requirement would essentially restrict the procurement to firms that already had the certification at the time the solicitation was issued. The GAO concluded that the Army’s legitimate need for equipment to be JITC-certified at the time of equipment installation did not justify a requirement for certification at the time of proposal submission. “An agency’s otherwise legitimate requirements regarding an offeror’s demonstrated ability to meet contract requirements may not be required prior to when such qualifications become relevant.”