Link: GAO Decision
Agency: General Services Administration
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest challenging the evaluation of the protester’s proposal as unacceptable is denied where the record shows that the agency reasonably found that the protester did not address a material requirement of the solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Energy Engineering & Consulting Services, LLC (EECS) protested the award to Tetra Tech EM of a contract for onsite resource efficiency management (REM) support services at the Misawa Air Base in Japan. The RFQ provided for award on a lowest-price, technically-acceptable basis, considering technical solution and management approach, past performance and past experience, and cost evaluation factors. Of the three proposals received, only Tetra Tech’s was deemed technically acceptable. EECS received six deficiencies, any one of which would be sufficient to support the agency’s finding of overall technical unacceptability.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s assessment of a deficiency for failure to provide details regarding energy audits with respect to Task 1 of the RFQ. EECS’s proposal did not identify the audit standards to be applied, but instead stated that an audit plan would be developed after the facilities to be audited were identified. The GAO found no merit to EECS’s argument that the minimum audit standards provided for in a Q&A were not incorporated into the solicitation.
The GAO views any information disseminated during the course of a procurement that is in writing, signed by the contracting officer, and provided to all prospective offerors, contains all of the essential elements of an amendment and is therefore sufficient to operate as such. Prospective offerors should therefore pay close attention to all communications received from the contracting officer during the procurement, particularly where the communication establishes minimum requirements or certain standards that must be met for a proposal to be acceptable. Failure to acknowledge an amendment, either explicitly where required, or by incorporating relevant requirements provided for in an amendment or Q&A, could result in a determination of technical unacceptability.