Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Castle-Rose, Inc.
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protester’s challenge to agency’s evaluation of its proposal is denied where record shows that the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with terms of solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Castle-Rose, Inc. protested the award to Kevcon, Inc. of a design-build construction contract to repair the steam infrastructure at the VA Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington. The RFP, issued as an SDVOSB set-aside, provided for award on a best value basis, considering past performance/experience, project management plan, and price. It also mandated completion of the work by October 1, 2012. Castle-Rose received individual marginal ratings under each evaluation factor, with an overall marginal rating with high overall risk. The agency concluded that the technical superiority of Kevcon’s proposal warranted payment of its higher price.
Castle-Rose contended that the agency’s evaluation of its proposal was improper and that its technical proposal should have been rated higher. The GAO found that none of its challenges provided a basis to sustain the protest. For instance, it found reasonable the determination that Castle-Rose’s proposed completion date of December 26, failed to meet the required October 1 completion date set forth in the solicitation. The GAO also found no reason to question the agency’s determination that Castle-Rose’s past performance was not sufficiently similar to the RFP’s requirements and warranted only a marginal rating.
Disappointed offerors should always request a debriefing so as to better understand the agency’s evaluation process and reasoning behind its ratings, and also to gain insight that may improve proposals in the future. However, disappointed offerors should always consider carefully whether to protest the agency’s decision. Merely disagreeing with the agency’s conclusions regarding the sufficiency of your past performance will not be enough to sustain a protest.