Telecommunications Support Services, Inc., B-407305, December 4, 2012

Link: GAO Decision

Protestor: Telecommunications Support Services, Inc.

Agency: Maryland Procurement Office

Disposition: Protest Denied.

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GAO Digest:

Agency reasonably determined that protester’s proposal was unacceptable where the protester failed to submit an adequately written technical proposal in accordance with the solicitation’s instructions.

General Counsel PC Highlight:

Telecommunications Support Services, Inc. (TSS) protested the award to Tensley Consulting, Inc. of a contract for software and hardware engineering support services and system support functions for the agency’s terrestrial radio frequency mission. Award was to be made on a lowest-priced, technically-acceptable basis. Technical acceptability would be based upon the evaluation of management and technical factors, each of which had several subfactors; an unacceptable rating under any subfactor would result in technical unacceptability. TSS’s proposal was rated technically unacceptable for failing to adequately address the tower rigging, antenna rigging, and construction subfactor in its technical proposal.

The GAO found reasonable the agency’s unacceptable rating for TSS, noting that the RFP made clear that proposals must be submitted in accordance with the proposal preparation instructions. The RFP instructed offerors to include their response for the tower rigging, antenna rigging, and construction subfactor under the technical approach factor; including this information in the response for the management approach factor did not satisfy the RFP. The agency was not required to adapt its evaluation to comply with TSS’s submission.

It is an offeror’s responsibility to submit an adequately written proposal that complies with the terms of the solicitation. Offerors must carefully review their proposals prior to submission to ensure that all required data appears in the appropriate volume of their proposal. Agencies are not required to search through a proposal to determine compliance, and may deem the proposal to be technically acceptable.