Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Defense
Disposition: Protests denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protests of IP Network Solutions, Inc., Emagine IT, Inc., and EnterpriseTech Joint Venture, LLC, regarding the award of four indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contracts to High Action, LLC, Soft Tech Consulting, Inc., Unitech Consulting, LLC d/b/a/ Chameleon Integrated Services, and NOVA Corporation, by the Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) under a request for proposals (RFP) for information technology enterprise support services.
The solicitation was issued as a competitive set-aside under the Small Business Administration 8(a) program and contemplated the award of multiple ID/IQ contracts with fixed-price, cost plus fixed-fee, time and materials, and cost reimbursable contract line item numbers (CLINs), for a base year and four one-year options. Offerors were advised that the technical evaluation would include two subfactors: technical/management capabilities for each of six task orders; and operations task order transition plan. Evaluation under the technical/management capabilities subfactor would consider project management plan; staffing approach; management CONOPS (Concept of Operations); and methodology, processes and procedures for the operations task order and sample task orders.
The protesters argue that the agency improperly rated their proposals as unacceptable because it relied upon an undisclosed staffing plan estimate that lacked reasonable basis.
For IP Network, GAO found that the agency performed a comprehensive review of the protester’s proposal, including its approach, innovations, and proposed workforce. The agency compared the proposal to historical data, service level agreements, and the government estimate and concluded that the protester failed to propose an adequate number of labor hours to attain and maintain the required service level agreements. The proposal also failed to meet minimum requirements under the specific task areas. GAO concluded that the agency reasonably found the proposal to be technically unacceptable.
For Emagine, the agency found the project management plan inadequate where the number of hours were not met to attain and maintain service level agreements for the operations task order. GAO found that the agency expressly declined to provide its estimate for the work requirements, but protesters were aware that the agency would still evaluate proposed staffing levels based on a comparison to a government estimate. Additionally, the agency’s undisclosed estimates were reasonable where Emagine could not specifically demonstrate why they were flawed.
Finally, for EnterpriseTech, GAO concluded that the evaluation of its proposal was also reasonable. The agency found the EnterpriseTech provided an inadequate number of labor hours and failed to identify how it would compensate for the loss of hours and still meet the minimum requirements. Additionally, the agency determined that there were no innovations or efficiencies in the protester’s approach that would justify the low number of hours in the proposed staffing.