Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Alpha-Omega Change Engineering, Inc. (AOCE), based on the rejection of its proposal and the award of contracts to Intecon, LLC and S4, Inc. under a request for proposals (RFP), issued by the Department of the Air Force for support services involving classified subject matter expertise and the comprehensive capability to plan and execute activities in support of Headquarters for the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command and Headquarters for the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
The RFP was set aside for small businesses and contemplated the award of up to three indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. Proposals were to be evaluated for technical acceptability based on the offerors’ responses to two sample task orders: Integrated Tactical Warning & Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) and Exercise Planning and Support. The Exercise Planning and Support task order required, among other things, a “thorough understanding of and a comprehensive capability to plan and execute multi-department/agency, national-to-local level exercises,” as well as a “thorough knowledge and understanding of mission evolution and operational impact on exercises and the Joint Training Plan . . . and application and management of the Joint Training Information Management System.” Offerors were also given a page limit on their responses.
AOCE argues that the agency did not reasonably evaluate its proposal in accordance with the stated criteria under the Exercise Planning and Support task order subfactor. The agency found, and GAO agreed that AOCE failed to address schedule, budget, policy, legal, and authorities, in planning and executing special operations in the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility. The agency also found that AOCE failed to demonstrate that it had the knowledge and understanding of the operational impacts on exercises. While AOCE argued that the deficiencies were not enough to warrant a “fail” rating, GAO concluded that the arguments were a mere disagreement with the agency’s decision.