Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Defense Administration Systems Agency
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Computer World Services Corporation (CWS), regarding the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) award of a contract to Vykin Corporation, under a request for proposals (RFP), for networking information support for the Multinational Information Sharing Program (MNIS) for the U.S. Combatant Commands (COCOMS).
Regarding past performance, offerors were required to submit a minimum of three, but not more than four, past performance references considered most relevant in demonstrating their ability to perform the contact. The past performance of the seven offerors with the lowest cost/price was to be evaluated for recency, relevancy, and performance quality using “information submitted by the offeror and other sources such as other Federal Government offices and commercial sources.” To be viewed as recent, a contract must have been in place and ongoing for at least six months before the proposal due date, or must have been performed within three years of the date of issuance of the solicitation. The solicitation further provided for an adjectival rating of very relevant, relevant, somewhat relevant, or not relevant, based on a determination of whether the services performed under other contracts, including those of joint venture partners and major and critical subcontractors, involved essentially the same, similar, some of, or none of the scope and magnitude of effort and complexities the current solicitation required.
CWS challenged the agency’s evaluation methodology of its past performance, asserting that the agency applied unstated evaluation criteria when it decided that only offerors with recent and very relevant past performance information, and ratings of very good and excellent performance quality, would receive a performance confidence assessment of substantial confidence. CWS argued that nothing in the record substantiated the agency’s claim that CWS’ past performance evaluation was based on a revised past performance report for task order, for MNIS design, limited to its subcontractor’s (Raytheon) performance on that order. Instead, CWS claims that the record suggested that Raytheon’s past performance appeared to have been improperly based on Raytheon’s performance under all of its recent MNIS support contracts, as initially reported by the customer. GAO disagreed, finding that nothing in the record supported the claim that the CWS past performance confidence assessment was based upon the marginal ratings in the initial past performance report. Moreover, GAO agreed that, even if the protester was correct about the information used to evaluate Raytheon’s past performance, the challenged information was appropriately reviewed under the terms of the RFP. The RFP provided that the government’s assessment of past performance would include not only information submitted by the offeror, but also “information submitted by . . . other sources” and “data independently obtained from other government and commercial sources.” The record indicated that the challenged past performance involves MNIS program support, making the challenged past performance relevant. In addition, noted GAO, the marginal performance referenced in the initial past performance report was properly viewed as relevant, as it occurred under a contract effort commencing in February 2009 and ongoing. Under the terms of the RFP and the facts of this case, GAO had no basis to question the agency’s discretion to consider Raytheon’s marginal past performance contained in the challenged past performance assessment.