Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Global Technology Systems, Inc. (GTS) regarding its exclusion from the competitive range under a request for proposals (RFP) for high-capacity batteries, issued by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), a component of the Department of Defense.
JIEDDO issued the RFP to procure up to 10,750 batteries at a fixed unit price. The RFP advised offerors that the batteries must satisfy salient characteristics of applicable military performance specifications and the additional specifications outlined in Section C of the RFP. The specifications included dimensions, weight, nominal, and maximum voltage, watt-hour rating, capacity, discharge, pulse discharge, operating and storage temperature, and other technical details. The RFP also included a clause, under FAR, that advised offerors to show a technical description of the items offered in sufficient detail, and that, “If the offer is not submitted on the SF [Standard Form] 1449, [offerors] include a statement specifying the extent of agreement with all terms, conditions, and provisions included in the solicitation.” The evaluation factors included technical capability, ability to meet the demand schedule, and price. The schedule of delivery included initial delivery of 2,000 batteries within 60 days of award, and subsequent delivery of 2,000 batteries every 30 days until completion.
GTS argued that the agency unreasonably found its proposal technically unacceptable because all of the information necessary to determine the compliance of its proposed battery with the RFP requirements was provided, and because JIEDDO should have exercised its discretion to waive any alleged failure to sufficiently describe how its battery met the requirements of the RFP. GAO concluded that, after reviewing the record, GTS’s proposal was reasonably excluded from competitive range because GTS failed to provide a narrative description of how its proposed battery satisfied the specifications included in the RFP. GTS instead chose to outline what it felt were the advantages of its proposed battery without explaining how its features correlated to the specifications. GAO added that GTS provided no support for the argument that the agency should have waived the offeror’s failure to provide the information required. GAO stated an agency might waive compliance with the solicitation requirement only if the award will meet the agency’s needs without prejudice to other offerors. There was no evidence that GTS’s proposal would meet the agency’s needs.