Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of FCN, Inc., regarding the award of a contract to RGS Federal, Inc., by the Air National Guard (ANG), under a request for proposals (RFP), for a mass notification system/net-centric alerting system for the ANG.
The RFP was issued to obtain a mass notification system and anticipated the award of a fixed-price contract for a one-year base period with two one-year option periods for sustainment support of the system. The non-price evaluation factors were mission capability, past performance, and small business participation. The RFP stated that total price would be evaluated for “completeness, accuracy, reasonableness and realism.” The evaluators were concerned about software licensing issues and requested that offerors provide clarification on several issues regarding the licenses. After receiving clarification, the agency awarded the contract to RGS based solely on price.
FCN alleges that ANG failed to reasonably consider the cost realism of RGS’ proposal as required by the RFP. FCN stated that if ANG had performed a reasonable price realism analysis, it would have shown that RGS was improperly “buying in,” and that RGS’ proposal of existing software licenses was an unacceptable pricing strategy making RGS’ price low. GAO disagreed after reviewing the record, which indicated that the agency specifically considered the underlying issues associated with RGS’ software licensing arrangement. The agency only required offerors to confirm that they maintained sufficient licenses, provide proof of available licenses if proposing licenses as GFE, and assume all risk against the need for additional licenses for the life of the contract. RGS addressed all of these issues in its response. Specifically, RGS made the appropriate confirmation, and provided a copy of the relevant language. RGS also confirmed that it assumed “ALL RISK” for licensing issues that could arise. Upon consideration of this information, the agency concluded that RGS’ price was reasonable, realistic, and appropriate to the technical solution proposed. Further, the agency found that RGS demonstrated an “in-depth understanding” of Air Force and Air National Guard architecture, policies and procedures.