Link: GAO Opinion
Agencies: U.S. Army Material Command
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Meaningful discussion
General Counsel, P.C. Highlight: Discussions, in the context of a FAR Part 15 Negotiated Procurement must be shown to be meaningful. That is, they may not be misleading and must identify potential deficiencies or weaknesses in the proposals that could be reasonably addressed by the offerors. Thus, it’s important to consider whether an agency has met its responsibility of leading an offeror into the areas of concern in the proposal and whether the agency has imparted sufficient information to afford the offeror a fair and reasonable opportunity to correct these deficiencies or mistakes.
In a protest by Gas Turbine Engines, Inc. (GTE) of the award of a contract to Prototype Engineering & Mfg., Inc., under a request for proposals issued by the U.S. Army Materiel Command for maintenance and overhaul of Flutter Dampener Assemblies that are used on the UH-60 Helicopter, the GAO denied the protest because the record did not establish a reasonable possibility that GTE was prejudiced by the lack of meaningful discussions. GTE’s primary complaint was that the Army engaged in inadequate and misleading discussions by failing to inform GTE that the agency considered the firm’s proposed price to be unreasonably high. Here, GTE’s proposed price was substantially higher than the awardee’s, and GTE argued that the awardee could not adequately perform the contract at the awardee’s proposed low price. This argument was dismissed, and because the record did not show a reasonable possibility that GTE was prejudiced by the Army’s failure to conduct meaningful discussions, the protest was denied.