Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Integrity Supply
Agency: Defense Logistics Agency
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency improperly applied a domestic item restriction established by 10 U.S.C. § 2533a is denied where the agency reasonably determined that items being procured (electrical gloves) are items of “clothing” and therefore covered by the restrictions set forth in section 2533a.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Integrity Supply protested the rejection of its proposal submitted under an RFP for electrical insulation gloves. The RFP included DFARS Clause 252.225-7012, “Preference for Certain Domestic Commodities,” which provided that articles of clothing, defined to include gloves (defined as “handwear”), offered in response to the solicitation must be produced in the United States. During proposal evaluations, the agency determined that Integrity’s proposal was unacceptable because the items proposed by Integrity were to be manufactured in Malaysia.
The GAO found no basis to conclude that the agency acted unreasonably when it rejected Integrity’s gloves pursuant to the domestic production restrictions established by the Berry Amendment, as implemented by DFARS Clause 252.225-7012. It found the protestor’s emphasis on the protective nature of the gloves to be misplaced, pointing out that the term “clothing” as used in the Berry Amendment is understood to include a wide variety of items, including items worn for the purpose of protection.
Where a solicitation places restrictions on the types of items that may be proposed, offerors must ensure that their proposed items comply with all criteria or risk the rejection of their proposal. Offerors should avoid interpreting terms in the solicitation in a manner which would allow the offeror to circumvent any restrictions, as the agency is likely to interpret terms as inclusively as possible.