Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Disposition: Request denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the request of Information Ventures, Inc., that GAO recommend that the firm be reimbursed the costs of filing and pursuing its protests against the award of a contract to EnDyna, Inc. under a request for quotations (RFQ), issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for chemical hazards emergency management.
HHS received quotations from four firms, including Information Ventures and EnDyna. Award was made to EnDyna, and Information Ventures timely requested a debriefing. Prior to receiving a debriefing, Information Ventures protested to GAO, challenging the agency’s technical evaluation and selection decision. HHS informed GAO that it would take corrective action by re-evaluating the quotations and making a new selection decision. The protest was then dismissed. After the re-evaluation, HHS again selected EnDyna for award, and Information Ventures again filed a protest with GAO. Prior to submitting its agency report, HHS again informed GAO that it would take corrective action due to the discovery of an error made in its best value determination.
Information Ventures argues that reimbursement of its protest costs for both protests is warranted here because the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action in the face of its clearly meritorious protests. The protester complains that the agency’s re-evaluation did not address its earlier protest contentions and repeated most of the mistakes alleged in the first protest. However, GAO stated that it had no basis to conclude that the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action in response to a clearly meritorious protest. With respect to each protest, the agency promptly indicated that it would take corrective action. Neither the agency nor the protester provided any documentation of the agency’s evaluation or selection decisions that would allow us to determine whether or not the protests were clearly meritorious. Although the protester maintains that it is entitled to reimbursement of its costs for filing the second protest because the agency failed to implement its promised corrective action, the record did not establish that the agency failed to address the error alleged in the first protest.