Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest denied.
Protest challenging agency’s evaluation of awardee’s proposal is denied where evaluation was reasonable and consistent with solicitation’s evaluation scheme.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
AP asserts that the selection of K&R was not made in accordance with the solicitation’s stated evaluation factors, and maintains that it was improper for the agency to assign maximum past performance points to K&R, a firm that AP alleges has never provided medical transcription services to the VA. AP’s allegations flow from its “web searches” and “communications” with K&R personnel. GAO states that in reviewing protests of alleged improper evaluations, it is not GAO’s role to reevaluate proposals. Rather, GAO will review the agency’s actions to ensure that the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria, as well as applicable statutes and regulations. Moreover, where a solicitation contemplates the evaluation of offerors’ past performance, the agency has the discretion to determine the relevance and scope of the performance history to be considered and GAO will not question the agency’s judgment unless it is unreasonable or inconsistent with the terms of the solicitation or applicable procurement statutes and regulations.
In this regard, the RFP stated that offerors were to identify in their proposals past or current contracts “of similar type, scope, size, and complexity” that were either ongoing or had been completed within the past three years. Offerors were also requested to provide information about customer satisfaction with its performance under the previous contracts. Contrary to the protester’s assertion, in assessing the awardee’s past performance history, the record shows that the agency reviewed the various contracts for similar work that were either ongoing or had been completed by K&R within the past three years. The agency also considered the favorable comments obtained from a VA contract reference regarding her experience with K&R’s performance of transcription services at a VA facility. According to the agency, K&R’s proven past performance and commitment to customer satisfaction (based on the comments the agency received) warranted the rating assigned. GAO has reviewed the entire record, including documentation of the CO’s review and analysis of the offerors’ proposals, and finds nothing unreasonable in the agency’s evaluation conclusions.
In addition, GAO finds unpersuasive the protester’s suggestion that its past performance as the incumbent contractor performing these same requirements should have resulted in AP receiving a higher past performance rating than that assigned to K&R. The record clearly shows that the VA took into account the relevance of each contract referenced in the offerors’ proposals as part of its evaluation and expressly concluded that each offeror’s past performance merited the assigned ratings. In sum, GAO’s review of the record confirms the reasonableness of the agency’s evaluation of K&R’s proposal and, consequently, its determination that K&R’s proposal was the most advantageous to the government. The protester’s disagreement with the agency’s conclusions does not establish that the agency’s evaluation was unreasonable. The protest is denied.