Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of CEdge Software Consultants LLC regarding the award of a contract to Vista Technical Services, LLC (VTS), by the Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, IL, under a request for proposals (RFP), for information technology (IT) services.
The RFP was issued as a competitive 8(a) set-aside, and contemplated the award of a fixed-price contract for IT services. The RFP provided for award of a contract with a one-year base period plus two one-year option periods. The following factors were to be considered: technical/management approach; past performance; and price. The technical/management factor included the following subfactors: staffing plan; technical approach; quality control/assurance; and transition plan. Offerors were to detail how they would meet each requirement.
The protester generally argues that the agency improperly assigned it weaknesses under the staffing plan and technical approach subfactors. The protester’s proposal under the staffing plan subfactor failed to provide an explanation of the function of its proposed desktop support position and proposed an unnecessarily high level of staffing for the loan pool program and IT property accountability functions. GAO agreed with the agency’s assessment of weaknesses where CEdge failed to submit and “adequately written proposal with sufficient detail to demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to meet, solicitation requirements.”
The protester also argues that the agency failed to engage in meaningful discussion regarding the staffing approach subfactor. However, GAO finds that the record does not support the assertion that the agency conducted misleading discussions where the agency led CEdge to the area of its staffing concerns and therefore, the discussions were within the definition of meaningful.
Finally, CEdge challenges the agency’s best value determination. The record showed the determination to be reasonable and adequately documented. Price was considered and the explanation in favor of the award to the higher-priced and technically superior offeror was reasonable.