Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Protest that agency misled protester into increasing its staffing and, consequently, its price, when it provided vendors with government’s minimum estimated staffing is denied where agency specifically advised offerors that estimate was just that, and that it was vendor’s responsibility to determine adequate staffing.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GC&E maintains that the agency misled it into increasing its staffing and therefore, its pricing, unnecessarily. GAO states that this argument is without merit. The e-mail transmitting the staffing estimate advised vendors that the staffing provided is not the solution, but represents the Government’s minimum staffing to perform the requirements of the PWS. Vendors questioned this statement, and the Army responded to all vendors that the minimum staffing provided is only an estimate. It is the contractor’s responsibility to determine how to staff to support the requirements of the PWS. Since the response expressly stated that the minimum staffing was only an estimate, and provided that vendors were to determine their own staffing, there was no reasonable basis for GC&E to treat the estimate as a minimum requirement; if GC&E believed that its initially proposed staffing was adequate to perform the requirements of the task order, it should have been clear that it was free to leave its staffing unchanged. The protest is denied.