Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Energy
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Endeavor Enterprise Solutions, LLC, (EES) regarding the award of a contract to GET-NSA, LLC, under a request for proposals (RFP), issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) to obtain information technology infrastructure and support services for its Oak Ridge, Tennessee, office.
The solicitation was issued as a section 8(a) set-aside, for the award of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with cost-plus-award-fee and fixed-price task elements. The contract was for an array of support services, including cyber-security. The factors considered included: management approach; key personnel; and corporate experience and past performance. Under the management approach factor, three subfactors were considered: organizational framework; program and integration; and managing human resources.
EES argues that the agency misevaluated its proposal under the management subfactors. GAO found that under the organizational framework subfactor, EES did not explain how its transition plan would merit a higher rating. The SSA concluded that it provided only a “nominal benefit,” whereas a rating of “good” would merit a “notable benefit to the Government.” GAO stated that although EES disagreed with the agency’s conclusion, it was not unreasonable.
Under the program and integration subfactor, EES argues that its proposal should have been rated “outstanding” instead of “good.” GAO stated that there is no requirement that just because a proposal contained strengths the SSA must give the highest marks. Additionally, EES received three strengths that were of “notable benefit” to the agency. A rating of “outstanding” would require a significant benefit to the government, with no weaknesses. EES’s disagreement with the agency does not indicate that the SEB’s conclusion was unreasonable.
Under the last subfactor, EES received a strength and a weakness. The weakness was attributed to EES’s failure to discuss the relevant labor laws that apply to human resource issues. GAO found that EES simply stated that it understood the labor laws and listed a few examples of those laws. GAO concluded that the agency’s view—that a partial listing of applicable labor laws did not include the specific discussion that the agency was looking for—was not unreasonable.