Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Total Solutions, Inc., based on the issuance of a task order to PeopleTec, Inc., by the Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency (MDA), under a request for task order proposals (RTOP) for executive administrative and action officer support.
The RTOP was issued to small business vendors holding MDA Engineering and Support Services (MiDAESS) contracts. The solicitation provided for the issuance of a cost-plus fixed-fee, level-of-effort task order for executive administration and action officer support services for a two-year base period with two option periods. Award was to be made on a best value basis considering: technical; past performance; small business utilization past performance; small business utilization; and cost. The technical factor included: program management; labor hour and mix; key personnel; task order transition; and vacancy fill rate.
Total Solutions first argued that MDA unreasonably rated PeopleTec’s proposal under the task order transition subfactor because PeopleTec failed to propose that its contract program manager lead the transition team, which should have been assessed a weakness. FAO found Total Solutions’ complaints with respect to PeopleTec’s designation of a separate transition team lead as nothing more than disagreement with the agency’s judgment concerning the merits of PeopleTec’s technical approach to this subfactor. The RTOP did not require that the contract program manager serve as the transition lead. Rather, the PWS stated that “[t]he [contract program manager] and/or [task order lead] shall meet with the Functional Government customer within 5 working days of award” as a part of the transition and that they “shall report the status of its efforts to recruit, hire, and fill all positions . . . .” Although the PWS recognized that the contract program manager would have a role in the transition, it did not specify that the contract program manager and the transition team lead must be the same individual.
Total Solutions also argues that MDA’s assignment of an overall excellent rating to PeopleTec’s proposal was erroneous where the agency failed to evaluate PeopleTec’s significant financial capability risk. GAO found that the solicitation did not provide for the evaluation of a firm’s financial capability as part of the evaluation of proposals under the technical factor. GAO concluded that Total Solutions’ complaint that PeopleTec has inadequate financial resources concerned the agency’s affirmative determination of PeopleTec’s responsibility, which GAO generally will not consider.
Finally, Total Solutions argued that MDA failed to comply with section 808 of the NDAA, Pub. Law No. 112-81. More specifically, Total Solutions asserted that the contracting officer’s failure to obtain written approval from the head of MDA before awarding the task order violated section 808 and competitively prejudiced the protester because the agency head would have recognized the errors in the award decision and selected Total Solutions, the lowest-priced offeror, as providing the best value to the government. GAO concluded that the language upon which the protester relied constitutes a directive to the agency concerning the implementation of the aggregate obligation limit, and does not convey any rights upon bidders or offerors. In this regard, this section does not address or provide for review of an agency’s best value analysis. Total Solutions’ contentions regarding section 808 do not establish a valid basis of protest.