Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: General Services Administration
Disposition: Protest denied in part, sustained in part.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied in part and sustained in part the protest of Grunley Construction Company, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, protests the award of a contract to Clark Construction Group, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland, under request for proposals (RFP) No. GS-11P-12-MKC-0037, issued by the General Services Administration (GSA), for the replacement of certain infrastructure at a federal office building in Washington, DC.
The RFP contemplated the award of a fixed-price contract for the design and construction of improvements to a federal office building in Washington, D.C. The following evaluation factors were to be considered: (1) experience on similar projects; (2) past performance; (3) key personnel; (4) project management approach; (5) apprenticeship program; (6) small disadvantaged business subcontracting plan; (7) project labor agreement. As relevant, the agency provided that under the project management approach factor, an offeror’s proposal would be evaluated based on “understanding of the contract requirements including design phase services and the Offeror’s ability to manage the construction including risk management, quality control, scheduling, protection and construction in special spaces, cost control including contingency management, change order management, and “open book accounting.”
Grunley first argued that the agency’s evaluation under the project management approach factor was unreasonable because its proposal did provide a shift transition plan and included its schedule, as opposed to the findings of the agency. GAO agreed with the protester and found that the record showed that the agency gave Grunley a strength for providing a transition plan, it also gave Grunley a weakness for not discussing a shift transition plan. Although Grunley attempted to raise the issue with the agency, the agency never meaningfully explained or even acknowledged the inconsistency. Additionally, the agency ignored the fact that the protester’s schedule included float in numerous places and made no effort to explain why the protester was assessed a weakness in this area.
Grunley next argued that the agency’s discussions regarding the protester’s proposed price were not meaningful. However, GAO disagreed and concluded that the agency made Grunley aware of its concerns. The agency was not required to identify specific areas where Grunley’s proposed prices were too low.