Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Terms of the Solicitation
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: GAO will review the record to determine whether the restrictions imposed by the solicitation are reasonably related to the agency’s needs.
JRS Management (JRS) protests the terms of a request for quotations (RFQ), issued by the Department of the Navy (Navy), for a sail loft instructor at the Navy Consolidated Brig.
The RFQ contained one contract line item number (CLIN), for which vendors were required to provide a unit hour price for a total quantity of 1,992 hours (249 days, 8 hours per day) for the sail loft instructor. An amendment to the RFQ contained a schedule of supplies and services that the instructor may be required to work.
The RFQ stated that the primary duties of the instructor should include managing the sail loft, training and supervising approximately eight prisoners, and assisting security personnel in maintaining security. The instructor was also required to have at least two years correctional experience and have supervised at least eight prisoners. The Navy amended the RFQ to additionally require the instructor to have at least two years experience in the control and use of keys, tools, and toxic, caustic, and flammable materials in a correctional setting and have at least a year of experience in supervising, moving, and teaching at least eight prisoners in a correctional setting.
JRS asserts that there should be a second CLIN for the amendment containing possible additional hours. GAO states that the risk that additional hours may be required does not make the solicitation inappropriate or improper. It is within the agency’s discretion to offer a proposed contract that imposes maximum risks upon the contractor.
JRS also asserts that the experience requirements are unduly restrictive. GAO states that the determination of a contracting agency’s needs and the best method of accommodating them are matters primarily within an agency’s discretion. GAO will review the record to determine whether the restrictions imposed are reasonably related to the agency’s needs. GAO’s review of the record finds that the Navy has established a reasonable need for the experience requirements. The Brig houses violent offenders in contact with materials that could be used for harm and therefore, it is reasonable for the Navy to increase safety by requiring the contractor to provide personnel with experience with the challenges that can arise within the facility. The protest is denied.