Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Asset Protection & Security Services, LP
Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency improperly rejected quotation in Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) acquisition conducted under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 8.4 is denied where protester’s FSS contract did not include all items and rates required by the solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Asset Protection & Security Services, LP (APSS) protested the exclusion of its quotation from consideration under an RFQ for detention officer services in the southwest United States. The RFQ was issued to vendors holding FSS 84, Special Item Number (SIN) 246-54 (protective service occupations) contracts and contemplated the award of a single BPA. APSS was excluded from competition because its FSS contract did not include pricing for several of the locations to be serviced under the RFQ.
The GAO disagreed with APSS’s arguments that the RFQ did not clearly require all labor categories and prices to be on a vendor’s FSS pricelist prior to the closing date, and that APSS should have been allowed to update its FSS contract at any time prior to the issuance of a task order without violating the RFQ’s late quotation provision. The GAO noted that, when an agency purchases from an existing FSS, all items quoted and ordered must be on the vendor’s schedule contract as a precondition for receiving the order. The GAO concluded that when a quotation is not consistent with an underlying FSS contract, the agency may reasonably exclude the quotation upon discovery of that fact.
Vendors holding FSS contracts may only quote items and rates that are currently listed on their FSS schedule. If a vendor is in the process of negotiating a new FSS contract, it may not quote labor categories and rates from that proposed contract, but rather must only quote categories and rates under its current contract. A quotation that includes items and rates not covered by the vendor’s current FSS contract may result in the exclusion of that quotation from the competition.