Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of International Composites Technologies, Inc. (ICT), based on the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range under a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Department of the Air Force for ballistic armor systems to be installed on various configurations of the C-130 aircraft.
The solicitation was issued as a small business set-aside and contemplated the award of a fixed-price contract to the offeror submitting the lowest-priced, technically acceptable proposal. The agency found ICT’s technically unacceptable because it did not explain the manufacturing and assembly process, it did not contain information relating to the facility, equipment and plant layout, it did not include adequate information to show that its proposed system met all of the RFP’s ballistic performance requirements, and it did not show how its system interfaced with the aircraft to provide unimpeded access to the flight deck panels or doors, the nose wheel/landing gear and egress doors.
ICT argues that the agency was unreasonable in concluding that its proposal was technically unacceptable. Specifically, ICT proposed alternate plates, which the agency determined were technically unacceptable because ICT did not demonstrate that the plates met the solicitation’s ballistic performance standards. GAO first concluded that ICT failed to include any information showing that the total system weight using the armor plates was compliant with the requirements of the RFP. GAO also found that the plates were too thick, which gave the evaluators no basis to determine whether ICT’s attachment system would function with the thicker plates. Lastly, GAO found that the record showed significant information absent from the ICT proposal, as revised during discussions, and that this lack of information led the evaluators reasonably to conclude that the alternate solution offered by ICT using the plates was not technically acceptable.