Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Glevum Associates, LLC
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Request Granted.
Request that GAO recommend reimbursement of costs for filing and pursuing a protest against the agency’s evaluation of offerors is granted where the protester raised a clearly meritorious protest and the agency did not take prompt corrective action.
General Counsel PC:
Glevum Associates, LLC requested that the GAO recommend that the agency reimburse Glevum’s costs of filing and pursuing its protest of the award to Metrica, Inc. of a contract for military information support operations survey services in Afghanistan. Glevum had argued that Metrica’s rating of substantial confidence under the past performance factor was unreasonable and contrary to the terms of the solicitation, in part because Metrica had submitted past performance from a subcontractor, which the RFQ stated was not to be considered during evaluations.
The GAO agreed with Glevum that the agency failed to take prompt corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest. After investigating Glevum’s initial protest grounds, the agency determined that its evaluators had improperly based Metrica’s past performance rating of substantial confidence on the past performance of Metrica’s subcontractor. However, instead of then taking corrective action, the agency filed its report and attempted to defend its actions. It found there was a reasonable possibility that Glevum was prejudiced by the agency’s errors and recommended that it be reimbursed the costs of protesting.
Protestors are typically entitled to the costs of filing and pursuing a protest when the GAO issues a decision sustaining the protest. If the agency takes corrective action in response to the protest, the GAO may recommend reimbursement if the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action in response to a clearly meritorious protest. Protestors should keep detailed records of the time spent researching and preparing a protest, broken down by the various issues raised in the protest. Even where the GAO recommends reimbursement, it may only recommend reimbursement as to those issues which were meritorious. Failure to provide detailed records in the certified claim to the agency could result in the denial of the entire claim for costs.