Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Hi-Tech Bed Systems Corporation
Agency: Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency conducting competition among Federal Supply Schedule vendors should have rejected successful vendor’s quotation because, although the vendor’s revised quotation complied with solicitation requirements, the vendor’s initial quotation did not, is denied where agency evaluation was reasonable and consistent with solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Hi-Tech Bed Systems Corporation, a small business, protested the issuance to AVTEQ, Inc. of three task orders to supply furniture and accessories, and associated installation services, for dormitory barracks for three buildings at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The RFQ, seeking quotations from firms holding FSS contracts under the furniture schedule, required vendors to show that their beds and wardrobes met GSA testing requirements. The agency determined that all three quotations initially received were technically unacceptable; AVTEQ and Hi-Tech timely submitted revised quotations after being informed of the deficiencies in their initial quotations. The CO determined that AVTEQ’s price advantage outweighed the faster installation time proposed by Hi-Tech, and selected AVTEQ as the successful vendor.
Hi-Tech argued that to be technically compliant with the RFQ requirements, a vendor’s products had to meet GSA testing standards and be listed on GSA Advantage on the date that initial quotations were due. The GAO disagreed, siding with the agency’s argument that the relevant date is the date that the FSS order is issued, and that AVTEQ properly relied on a testing approval that referenced an FSS contract amendment for its supplier dated after the due date for initial quotations. Finally, although Hi-Tech argued that the product information provided in AVTEQ’s revised quotation did not provide sufficient detail to show what product AVTEQ would be required to provide, the GAO found that Hi-Tech merely disagreed with the agency’s conclusion that the information provided by AVTEQ was sufficient.
When an agency issued an RFQ to order items from FSS vendors, vendors are generally not limited to items which appear on their FSS contracts at the time the RFQ is issued or the date initial quotations are submitted. So long as the items quoted and ordered by the agency are on the vendor’s FSS contract at the time the order is issued, the vendor may quote those items. If you are in the process of requesting a modification of your FSS contract, and believe that the modification will be approved by the time an order is issued for that item, you may quote that item so long.