Link: GAO Opinion
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Price evaluation; discussions
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: An agency is under no obligation to hold discussions regarding an offeror’s comparatively high price since the agency is not required to advise a firm that its price is too high unless the price is so high as to preclude an award.
Following a request for proposals (RFP) for the award of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ), fixed-price, incentive fee contract to perform an array of information technology support services during a five-year effective ordering period, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded the contract to ASRC Primus (ASRC). One of the unsuccessful offerors, DB Consulting Group, Inc. (DB), protested the award of the contract on the bases that NASA misevaluated proposals, failed to provide adequate discussions, and made an unreasonable source selection decision.
The RFP provided that the award would be made on a “best value” basis considering price, mission suitability, and past performance. Price was the least significant factor. After receiving several proposals, NASA established a competitive range of three offerors and assigned each proposal with a specific point scoring for the non-price factors.
In its review of the record, GAO found that although the record did not contain an explanation of how the point scores were determined, the record did show that NASA evaluated the proposals as provided for in the RFP by preparing extensive narrative materials that outlined the strengths and weaknesses of each. GAO found no basis to object to the scoring of proposals.
DB asserted that NASA misevaluated ASRC’s past performance where one of ASRC’s subcontractors was found by the NASA Inspector General to have an improper organizational conflict of interest in an earlier contract. GAO’s review of the record showed that the argument was without merit where the contract in question was not relevant since it was not for products and services similar to those being solicited, as stated in the RFP.
GAO also found that NASA was under no obligation to hold discussions regarding DB’s comparatively high price since an agency is not required to advise a firm that its price is too high unless the price would preclude the award. GAO found nothing in the record to show that DB’s price was unreasonably high so as to preclude an award.
Finally, GAO stated that it would not evaluate whether DB and ASRC’s proposals were evaluated disparately since, even if DB’s proposal was assigned additional credit, the contract would still be awarded to ASRC based on ASRC’s lower price. GAO denied the protest.