Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Technical Evaluation
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: In reviewing a protest challenging an agency’s past performance evaluation, GAO examines the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable statutes and regulations.
Innovative Builders, Inc. (Innovative) protests the award of a contract under a request for proposals (RFP), issued by the Department of the Army (Army), for the construction of a seawall and related work.
The RFP contemplated the award of a fixed-price contract to construct the seawall and other work. Offerors were informed that award would be made on the basis of a performance-price tradeoff, considering past performance and price. The past performance factor consisted of company specialized experience and past performance surveys. With regard to company specialized experience, offerors were required to submit at least three examples of recent, relevant construction projects. With regard to past performance surveys, offerors were requested to submit performance information for each project.
Eleven of the nineteen proposals received, including Innovative’s, received a neutral/unknown confidence rating since the offerors had not identified at least three recent, relevant projects.
Innovative initially protested this rating and GAO sustained the protest. However, following the agency’s reevaluation of Innovative’s past performance, the agency found that Innovative’s projects were not recent and were not of the same type, scope, effort, and complexity as required by the RFP. The agency again rated Innovative’s proposal as neutral under the past performance factor and this protest followed.
Innovative asserts that, with regard to the project that was determined to be not recent, that by the RFP issue date it had completed over 50% of the portion of the overall project that was assigned to the firm, and thus the agency should have found the project to be recent. Innovative also asserts, with regard to the remaining four projects that were found to not be relevant, that each of these projects contained features that were relevant to the work being procured here.
GAO states that in reviewing a protest challenging an agency’s past performance evaluation, it will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable statutes and regulations. GAO’s review of the record finds that the agency’s conclusions were reasonable.
With respect to the project that the agency found to not satisfy the requirement that the project be 50% complete by the RFP issuance date, GAO states that Innovative had only been performing the project for six months with a completion date of 16 months later. Innovative also did not identify what work comprised its portion of the project, or identify that 50% of the work had been completed by the RFP issuance date. Therefore, the agency reasonably concluded that the project did not satisfy the RFP’s requirements.
GAO agrees that Innovative’s fourth and fifth projects were not sufficiently similar in scope, type, effort and complexity to be considered relevant to the construction project in the contract. Construction in the current contract would require forming and placement of structural concrete, reinforcement, vinyl sheet pile, storm drainage or trench drains, compacted fill, and other things. The Army found that Innovative’s fourth project required less concrete, no vinyl sheet pile, no storm drainage or trench drains, no compacted fill, less beach fill and less rip rap. Its fifth project contained less concrete, less vinyl sheet pile, less timber pile, and did not contain any forming or placement of structural concrete or concrete piles. GAO stated that the agency’s judgment that the projects were not relevant was reasonable. The protest is denied.