Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Impact Resource Technologies
Agency: United States Marine Corps
Disposition: Protest Denied
Protest of agency’s time extension for the receipt of quotations following a solicitation amendment is denied where the protester has not shown the extension to be unreasonable.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Impact Resource Technologies (IR Tech) protested the terms of an RFQ for to operate, maintain, and enhance the Marine Corps recruiting information support system (MCRISS). Vendors were required to include in their quotations a copy of their CMMI Appraisal Disclosure Statement (ADS) confirming their Level III certification. IR Tech first protested the CMMI Level III ADS requirement as unduly restrictive of competition. In response, the agency amended the RFQ to allow vendors to describe how their proposed processes were equivalent to the CMMI Level III processes and extended the deadline for submission of quotations.
IR Tech protested that the agency did not provide sufficient time for IR Tech to submit a quotation, and that the unduly short time violated the requirement of FAR § 5.203(b) that agencies allow contractors a reasonable time to prepare quotations. The GAO first noted that FAR subpart 5.2 does not apply to procurements conducted as an FSS buy. It then found the time to respond to the RFQ amendment reasonable, pointing out that the amendment made no significant changes to the MCRISS requirements, except to modify the CMMI requirement, and gave vendors an additional 7 days to respond, for a total of 37 days.
Procurements conducted under FAR subpart 8.4 are subject to different procedures than those conducted under FAR Parts 13 or 15. Agencies are not required to synopsize the requirement prior to conducting the procurement, as the GSA Schedules were synopsized at the contract level. Furthermore, there is not a specific minimum amount of time to respond to the RFQ; rather, the time to respond must be reasonable and sufficient depending on the nature of the procurement. A debriefing is also not required, although, upon request, unsuccessful offerors may receive a brief explanation for the basis of the award.