Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: AINS, Inc.
Agency: Department of Justice
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Agency reasonably evaluated and selected awardee’s quotation as the lowest price offer consistent with solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria and record does not support protester’s argument that the agency ordered services not on the awardee’s Federal Supply Schedule contract.
General Counsel PC:
AINS, Inc. protested the issuance to Privasoft Corp. of a task order for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) electronic case management system services. The RFQ was issued to AINS and Privasoft, each of whom holds a blanket purchase agreement with the agency for an electronic FOIA case management system under their respective FSS IT contracts. Vendors were informed that, if technical quotations were determined to be substantially equal, price would become the determinative selection factor. Based on the relatively equal technical merit of the two quotations, the CO determined that it was in the government’s best interest to issue the task order to Privasoft based on its lower price.
The GAO found that the record did not support AINS’s assertion that Privasoft’s quotation did not satisfy the RFQ requirements, or that the agency unreasonable evaluated the Privasoft’s quotation. It noted that nothing in Privasoft’s quotation suggested that its proposed system did not meet the required scalability to 75 users, and that the agency’s conclusion that Privasoft’s proposed implementation training met the agency’s user training requirements was reasonable. The GAO also found no basis to question the agency’s price evaluation, and found no merit to AINS’ contention that the agency’s corrective action in response to an earlier protest was unreasonably and untimely implemented.
Disappointed vendors should always request a debriefing to better understand any weaknesses assigned to their quotation, as well as the rationale behind the agency’s source selection decision. When deciding whether to pursue a bid protest, disappointed vendors should carefully consider whether they merely disagree with the agency’s award decision, or whether there appear to be improprieties in the procurement which support pursuing a protest.