Link: GAO Decision
Agency: Department of Energy
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest challenging the agency’s evaluation of the protester’s and the awardee’s proposals is denied where the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
TPMC-EnergySolutions Environmental Services, LLC (TES) protested the issuance of a task order to Portage, Inc. for environmental remediation, including excavation and transportation of residual radioactive material (RRM), at the agency’s Moab project site in Utah. Award was to be made to the offeror whose proposal represented the best value to the government, with non-cost factors being significantly more important than cost factors. TES challenged the two weaknesses assigned to its technical approach, arguing that they were unreasonably assigned and inconsistent with the solicitation’s evaluation scheme.
The GAO found the agency’s assignment of a weakness to TES’s debris handling by truck to be reasonable, noting the special sensitivity expressed by local stakeholders relating to the transportation of RRM by truck. The GAO also found reasonable the weakness assigned to TES’s approach of stockpiling RRM in containers for rail transportation to the Crescent Junction site, in large part due to the lack of detail and information included in TES’s proposal. The GAO then disagreed with TES’s assertion that Portage’s technical approach was unacceptable, finding the agency evaluation properly considered the risks associated with Portage’s proposed winter schedule. It also rejected TES’s claims that Portage’s past performance evaluation failed to consider specific contracts with negative information. The agency had considered the negative information, but determined that the contracts in question were only somewhat relevant to the work to be performed under the present task order.
When preparing an offer, a firm should make sure it provides detailed explanations for each of its proposals, adequately supporting each of its particular plans. Failure to provide sufficient detail may lead to the assessment of weaknesses to that firm’s proposal.