Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Technical Evaluation
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: In reviewing a protest against an agency’s evaluation, GAO will not reevaluate quotations but instead will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations.
Coley & Associates, Inc. (Coley) protests the award of a contract under a request for quotations (RFQ under GSA FSS Schedule 70), issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), for the development and operation of a multi-payer claims research database.
The RFQ anticipated award of a fixed-price task order with a three-year period of performance. Quotations were to be evaluated based on price, and the following non-price factors: discussion and understanding of the scope of work; technical approach; qualifications of proposed personnel; management plan; and past performance. CMS concluded that the evaluated deficiencies in Coley’s quotation rendered it technically unacceptable.
Coley argues that the agency’s evaluation of its technical quotation was flawed. GAO states that the evaluation of a proposal or quotation is a matter within the agency’s discretion. In reviewing a protest against an agency’s evaluation, GAO will not reevaluate quotations but instead will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations. A protester’s mere disagreement with the agency’s judgment in its determination of the relative merit of competing quotations does not establish that the evaluation was unreasonable.
GAO reviews each of Coley’s claims that it should have received additional strengths under the technical evaluation. After a thorough review, the GAO concludes that Coley’s disagreement on each such point does not provide a basis to sustain the protest.
Coley challenges CMS’s assessment of five deficiencies in its quotation. Again, the GAO reviewed each deficiency protested and determined that the Agency assessment of a deficiency was reasonable.
. Protest denied.