Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: CC Distributors, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest Denied.
- Agency reasonably evaluated the awardee’s past performance as excellent/high confidence, where agency considered the awardee’s and its proposed subcontractor’s history of relevant past performance and the positive comments made by the awardee’s references regarding its past performance.
- Agency performed a reasonable price evaluation of awardee’s proposal by comparing the line item prices proposed to other offerors’ proposed prices and the agency estimates, and requesting verification for each of the line item prices that appeared unrealistically low or high.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
CC Distributors, Inc. protested the award to Noble Supply & Logistics of a contract for the operation of two contractor operated civil engineering supply stores (COCESS) located in Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. The three offers received were all priced below the IGE, and each offeror was evaluated as having exceptional/high confidence past performance. During discussions, Noble submitted several revised proposals adjusting its pricing on some items.
The GAO found that the agency reasonably evaluated Noble’s past performance, noting that both Noble and a proposed subcontractor had very relevant experience for which the feedback was very positive. The GAO then found that the agency had reasonably handled its concerns regarding unit prices proposed by offerors, identifying the items for which the offerors’ prices varied significantly from the IGE and requesting that the offerors either revise or confirm their prices.
Offerors in solicitations for fixed-price contracts must remember that a price realism analysis is not required as part of the evaluation process. The RFP may provide for some price realism analysis in order to measure an offeror’s understanding of the solicitation requirements, or to avoid the risk of poor performance from a contractor who is forced to provide goods or services at little or no profit. However, the agency may exercise discretion in determining the depth of analysis it will perform in these situations. So long as the agency acted reasonably and in a manner consistent with the terms of the solicitation, the GAO is likely to uphold their analysis.