Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Justice
Disposition: Protest dismissed.
Keywords: Minimum Requirements
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: Where minimum requirements of a proposal are not met, the Agency is free to reject the offer for failing to meet the minimum requirements.
JRS Management protests the rejection of its quotation under a request for quotations (RFQ), issued by the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for the provision of pharmacy technician services to the inmate population at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ohio.
The RFQ, issued as a total small business set-aside, provided that award would be made “to contractor whose quote, conforming to the solicitation, represents the lowest price to the Government, in accordance with FAR [Federal Acquisition Regulation] 52.212-1(g).” The RFQ listed several minimum requirements for a pharmacy technician required by the state of Ohio. To conform to the solicitation, the RFQ required as follows, “Contractors must provide copies of all documents evidencing compliance with the criteria referenced under ‘MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS’, to include copies of all diplomas, certificates, licenses, etc. In addition, the Contractor must provide evidence of insurability, in accordance with FAR Clause 52.237-7.” The RFQ further required that information specific to individuals who may provide services must be submitted to demonstrate prior experience working: with electronic medical record system; with computers in past jobs; and as a pharmacy technician in a correctional environment.
JRS submitted an initial quotation and subsequently submitted a revised quotation replacing the initial quotation. The protester’s quotation was rejected by the agency for the protester’s failure to provide the required information evidencing compliance with the minimum requirements.
JRS contends that the agency should not have rejected its quotation on this basis because qualification requirements were not a stated evaluation criteria; rather, the only stated evaluation criteria was price. GAO states that by decision dated April 25, 2011, it dismissed a protest filed by JRS against another BOP procurement for medical services with similar documentation requirements. GAO rejected the protester’s argument that the qualification requirements concerned a matter of responsibility. GAO noted that the RFQ was clear that qualification requirements had to be included with the quotation, and that a quotation could be eliminated from consideration for award if they were not included. GAO found that the agency properly rejected the protester’s quotation because the protester failed to include required information, not because the protester was not capable to perform. Since the issues raised and the arguments made by JRS are essentially the same as in the earlier protest which was resolved by decision of April 25, GAO will give no further consideration to this protest. The protest is dismissed.