Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Veteran Affairs
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: GAO will not sustain a protest unless the protester demonstrates a reasonable possibility that it was prejudiced by the agency’s actions
Gonzales-McCaulley Investment Group, Inc. (GMIG) protests the issuance of an order to NPI, Inc. (NPI) under a request for quotations (RFQ), issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to provide contracting training for the VA Acquisition Academy (VAAA).
The RFQ provided that quotations would be evaluated for “best value” based on three factors: technical approach; past performance; and price. The RFQ stated that “previous performance conducted within the VAAA will be considered more heavily than other previous performance outside of VAAA.” GMIG’s technical approach resulted in a rating of unacceptable and was assigned one deficiency and one weakness under the past performance factor, resulting in a rating of acceptable. NPI was rated excellent for technical approach and acceptable for past performance.
GMIG asserts that it was unreasonable for the VA to assign its quotation a deficiency based on its having only one past performance reference for teaching at the VAAA. GAO states that evaluation of a protester’s past performance is a matter within the discretion of the agency and as long as the performance rating is reasonable, GAO will not substitute its views. Upon examination of the record, GAO finds no reason to object to the past performance rating since GMIG was on notice that less past performance with VAAA would result in a lower rating, and only one of GMIG’s required references was for the VAAA.
GMIG also asserts that its quotation was misevaluated under the technical approach factor, objecting to each specific criticism. However, the GAO will not sustain a protest unless the protester demonstrates a reasonable possibility that it was prejudiced by the agency’s actions. Here, even if GMIG received the highest technical approach rating, it still would not receive the order, since NPI’s price was still lower. The protest is denied.