Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Defense
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of American Apparel, Inc., based on the award of a contract to Bluewater Defense by the Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), under a request for proposals (RFP), for the manufacture of Army Combat Uniform (ACU) trousers.
The agency issued a solicitation for ACU coats and trousers anticipating award of a fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a one-year base period and up to four one-year option periods. There were four evaluation factors: product demonstration models (PDM); past performance/experience; socioeconomic support; and price.
American first argues that the agency unreasonably failed to consider certain recent performance deficiencies in Bluewater’s past performance, and unreasonably rated American’s PDM as satisfactory. GAO found that the offerors’ past performance, according to the RFP, would be assessed for two years prior to the solicitation’s closing date. Bluewater’s performance deficiencies fell outside of that time period. Therefore, there was nothing improper about the agency’s decision not to consider the deficiencies. As for American’s PDM rating, GAO also found no error. GAO found that the agency’s determination was supported by the evaluation and in accordance with the RFP.
American next argues that the agency’s tradeoff decision was unreasonable and failed to follow the RFP’s guidance that all non-price factors combined were significantly more important than price. However, GAO agrees with the SSA, who adequately documented its conclusion that no firm had a technical advantage.