Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: General Services Administration
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Experience and Past Performance
General Counsel, P.C. Highlight: Agency may consider, but is not required to consider, experience older than the 5 year cut off stated in the RFP, even if the experience is similar to the work required under the new contract.
DePonte Investments, Inc. protested the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range under a solicitation for offers (SFO) issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) for construction of a detention facility for use by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. DePonte challenged the evaluation of its technical proposal. DePonte asserts that the source selection evaluation board’s determination that its experience in constructing a detention facility was not recent, and therefore constituted a weakness, was unreasonable. DePonte conceded that its developer’s detention facility experience, which was 9 years old, was “a bit older” than the specified 5 years, but asserted that, instead of a weakness, GSA should have considered this experience a significant strength because it “was so highly relevant to the current project” in that it was “the very same type of facility in the same geographic region.” However, the GAO found that since these considerations were set forth as prerequisites for primary consideration, that it was reasonable for GSA to conclude that this single project did not warrant DePonte’s conclusion. In fact, even though under the SFO, GSA could give consideration to the older, smaller project in the evaluation the GAO thought that GSA could also reasonably conclude that DePonte’s listed experience did not warrant a higher rating.