Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Alares LLC
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest of agency’s evaluation of protester’s proposal is denied where the proposal failed to address compliance with infection control procedures and provide a construction safety plan, as required by the solicitation, and agency was not required to infer or piece together such information from the protester’s past performance information.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Alares LLC protested the award to Ironclad Services, Inc. of a contract for the replacement of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units at the VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Providence, Rhode Island. The RFP, issued as an SDVOSB set-aside, provided for award on a best value basis, considering management approach, past performance, and price. Although Alares offered a lower price, it received a pink rating under management approach, which reflected a proposal which met some, but not all of the RFP requirements, and where its overall quality could not be determined because of errors, omissions, or deficiencies that could be corrected without a major rewrite or revision of proposal.
The GAO agreed with the agency’s determination that Alares’ proposal was deficient, noting that Alares conceded that its technical proposal omitted details regarding safety and infectious control. It found without merit Alares’ argument that its past performance at other VAMCs showed that it would satisfy the RFP’s requirements with respect to the construction safety plan and infection control procedures, pointing out that offerors were explicitly required to include such plans as part of their proposals.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals which comply with all material aspects of the solicitation. Agencies are not required to piece together statements throughout the proposal to satisfy a particular requirement of the solicitation. Agencies are also not required to infer information based on prior contracts performed by the offeror; offerors should include all relevant information in their proposals.