Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: ASPEC Engineering
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest of rejection of proposal as technically unacceptable is denied where record shows the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation.
General Counsel PC:
ASPEC Engineering protested the award to Sociedade de Empreitada e Trabalhos Hidraulicos (SETH) of a contract for operation and maintenance services at water and waste water treatment plants at Lajes Field, Azores. The agency assigned ratings of unacceptable to ASPEC’s proposal under the organization subfactor of the key personnel factor as well as the workforce management evaluation factor. The agency determined that ASPEC failed to meaningfully address the evaluation factors in several respects.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s conclusion that ASPEC’s proposal was unacceptable under the organization subfactor, noting that ASPEC failed to explain how the individuals it proposed would be used to perform the requirements under the contemplated contract. It also found reasonable the agency’s determination that ASPEC had failed to address the methods ASPEC would use to ensure that its personnel were knowledgeable and qualified in Reverse Osmosis/Nano-filtration (RO/NF) water treatment plants and potable water system operations and maintenance. The GAO found that the identification of a single lead operator with the requisite certifications did not meaningfully respond to the requirement that offerors describe the methods they would use to ensure their personnel were knowledgeable and qualified. The GAO also agreed that ASPEC’s proposal was technically unacceptable for failing to provide a proposed shift schedule, as required by the RFP.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals, which include all information required by the RFP. Failure to include schedules, certifications, or other specifically requested documentation may result in the assignment of weaknesses or an agency determination that the proposal is technically unacceptable.