Link: GAO Opinion
Protestor: Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
- Protest challenging a source selection authority’s (SSA) disagreement with past performance evaluation rating assigned by lower level evaluators is denied where SSA’s rationale was reasonable, consistent with the evaluation criteria, and documented.
- Protest challenging evaluation of protester’s history of meeting small business performance goals is denied, where agency reasonably concluded that there was a risk the protester would not meet the established goals.
- In evaluating protester’s proposal as good, rather than excellent, under the small business participation evaluation factor, agency was not required to conduct discussions regarding data that protester provided.
Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc. protested the award of a contract for the repair and refurbishment to fully mission capable condition (RESET) of M117 armored security vehicles (ASVs) to Textron, Inc., challenging the evaluation of proposals and source selection decision. Honeywell argued that the source selection authority (SSA) improperly raised Textron’s rating for past performance as determined by the source selection evaluation board (SSEB) from good/low risk to excellent/very low risk, because the SSA believed that one particular past contract established “no doubt” that Textron could perform the required effort at the maximum production rates required. Honeywell also claimed that its proposal was misevaluated under the small business participation and cost/price factors.
The solicitation in question indicated that the agency would assess the risk probability of successful performance on “up to three” recent and relevant contracts; however, the SSA based his disagreement with the SSEB’s evaluation of Textron’s past performance on a single contract which he believed was very relevant to Textron’s likely success on the ASV contract. The two other contracts, although they involved lower production rates, were determined to be very relevant in other respects. The GAO found that the SSA’s determination, given the detailed record, was reasonable and the GAO therefore had no basis to question his conclusions.
Honeywell also challenged the agency’s evaluation of its proposal under the small business participation factor, claiming that the agency was required by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) § 15.306(d)(3) to discuss adverse past performance information to which an offeror has not yet had an opportunity to respond. The GAO disagreed with Honeywell’s claim that FAR § 15.306(d)(3) provided a basis to sustain its protest, noting that it is not clear whether the information Honeywell provided to the agency constitutes “adverse past performance information.” Furthermore, the GAO rejected Honeywell’s assertion that it “ha[d] not yet had an opportunity to respond” to that information, as Honeywell itself had provided the information to the agency. The GAO noted that an agency has no obligation to reopen discussions to allow an offeror additional opportunities to revise its proposal when a proposal flaw first becomes apparent in a post-discussion submission.
The GAO did not disturb the SSA’s conclusion that a single contract was sufficiently relevant to determine that Textron showed very low risk for timely delivering ASV RESET quantities at the maximum monthly rate. Honeywell’s argument that its proposal, with three very relevant contracts, should have been given more credit than Textron’s proposal, with only one very relevant contract, was disregarded. The GAO noted that the RFP did not require that each contract be assessed the same weight or that multiple very relevant contracts be afforded more weight in the evaluation. Thus, contractors who do not have extensive experience in providing a particular service or meeting certain production rates can still receive a favorable past performance evaluation on the strength of a single highly relevant contract.