Link: GAO Decision
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest alleging that the agency’s solicitation amendment, issued as part of corrective action in response to a protest by another firm, improperly disclosed proprietary staffing level information included in the protester’s proposal is denied where the record shows that the staffing level identified in the solicitation amendment was independently developed by the agency, and was different from the protester’s proposed staffing level.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
Integrity Consulting Engineering and Security Solutions, LLC (ICESS) protested the amended terms of an RFP to provide program management, technical, and integrated services, arguing that the revision improperly disclosed ICESS’s Facilities Engineering Command Team Leads (FECTL) solution from its initial offer. The original RFP had requested that offerors provide their own solutions for FECTL staffing, but the agency chose to take corrective action in response to a protest by Tamarack after ICESS was awarded the contract. The amended RFP specified that nine FECTLs would be required to staff the nine FECTL offices.
The agency responded that the amendment to the RFP reducing the number of FETCLs was the result of a decision made by the Navy prior to the receipt of ICESS’s final proposal revision on the initial contract. The agency explained that this decision was memorialized in a briefing slide which was presented prior to the submission of ICESS’s final proposal, and that no ICESS proprietary information was used in arriving at its FECTL solution. The GAO found no evidence that the amended RFP disclosed proprietary information.
Successful offerors who find themselves faced with an amended RFP after initial award should carefully review the amendments to ensure that no proprietary information from their initial offers is included in the amended RFP. Although the Navy arrived at its amended requirement for nine FECTLs independently from ICESS’s initial proposal, without knowing about the precise timing of the briefing slide, ICESS had a legitimate concern that its initial staffing plan had been disclosed.