Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: CeReTechs Ltd.
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest of the exclusion of the protester’s proposal from the competitive range is denied where protester’s proposal was reasonably found to be unacceptable.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
CeReTechs Ltd. protested the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range under an RFP for expansion of information technology networks supporting the Afghan Ministries of Interior and Defense. The RFP provided for the award of two ID/IQ contracts on a lowest-priced, technically-acceptable basis. Offerors were required to submit proposed prices for three tables, with Table 1 requesting prices for providing design and network installation and for providing various amounts of bandwidth across different networks in specified regions and the capitol. During the Q&A period, the agency informed offerors to price the regions in Table 1 using kilometer per month pricing.
The GAO held that the agency reasonably excluded CeReTechs’ proposal from the competitive range. The record showed that CeReTechs’ proposal deviated materially from the pricing requirements set forth in the RFP and was therefore unacceptable. CeReTechs had provided multiple, overlapping prices for microwave communications, thereby making it impossible for the agency to calculate a fixed-price for CeReTechs. CeReTechs had also proposed conditional prices for bandwidth in one particular region, while the RFP had called for award of fixed-price task orders for all of the listed regions.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals that comply with all material terms of the RFP. Where the solicitation requests offers on a fixed-price basis, an offer that is conditional, and not firm, cannot be considered for award. The agency can exclude proposals that contain significant informational deficiencies, whether the deficiencies are attributable to omitted or merely inadequate information addressing fundamental factors.