Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Protest that agency improperly evaluated proposal as unacceptable is denied where record shows agency reasonably determined that materials list and conceptual layout required by solicitation were inadequate or incomplete.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
Anwar asserts that, since the solicitation required a list of materials only for the “proposed method of construction,” it was not required to provide a materials list for the entire project. GAO states that in reviewing a protest of an agency’s proposal evaluation, it is not GAO’s role to reevaluate proposals. Rather, GAO will consider only whether the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation and applicable statutes and regulations.
GAO states that the protester reads the RFP language too narrowly. While the protester proposed a K-span-based approach for the structure of the buildings, nothing in the quoted language, or elsewhere in the RFP, limited the required materials list to only the structural elements of the buildings. Rather, the term “proposed method of construction,” on its face, appears to relate to all aspects of the buildings’ construction–including the interior space–and this is the interpretation the agency states was intended. Anwar did not include on its list the materials needed to complete the interior of the K-span buildings, and also did not include a materials list for the buildings that were not being built with K-span construction. Thus, GAO finds no basis to question the agency’s determination that the materials list in Anwar’s proposal was deficient. As for the conceptual layout, Anwar asserts that its proposal did in fact include an electrical substation, but that it was mislabeled on the layout diagram. However, as the location of the substation was not apparent on the layout, the agency reasonably determined that the layout was inadequate. Anwar argues that the agency should have requested Anwar to clarify this point; however, agencies are not required to request clarifications. As for the missing utility connections, Anwar asserts that the solicitation only required that they be established during construction. However, as the above-quoted RFP language shows, the RFP specifically required the utility connections to be shown as part of the conceptual layout. Since the connections were not shown, the agency reasonably determined that the conceptual layout in Anwar’s proposal was inadequate. The protest is denied.