Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Past performance; Evaluation criteria
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: Where an RFP contains general evaluation criteria, the Agency has a wide degree of discretion in interpreting them.
The Air Force awarded a contract to General Trades & Services, Inc. (GTS) to provide base housing management and services at Warren Air Force base . The award of this contract was the result of a solicitation issued by the Air Force that contained only two evaluation factors: past performance and price. These two factors were given equal weight and the award was to be based on a Performance Price Trade-Off (PPT).
Following the award of the contract, JXM, Inc., the only other bidder, protested to the GAO. JXM challenged the Air Force’s evaluation of GTS’s past performance. When GAO is faced with a protest that challenges an agency’s evaluation, the GAO will not re-evaluate the proposals, but rather will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable, and in accord with the solicitation criteria and applicable statutes and regulations. Here, JXM challenged the Air Force’s evaluation of GTS’s past performance because, in JXM’s opinion, the past performance was not to the level of complexity or magnitude as the work contemplated in the present solicitation. However, GAO’s review of the RFP revealed a much lower standard that was couched general and not specific language. Where an RFP contains general evaluation criteria, the Agency has a wide degree of discretion in interpreting them. As such, GAO concluded that the Air Force’s interpretation of its evaluation criteria fit within the general terms of the RFP and the Air Force was, therefore, reasonable in its assessment of GTS’s past performance. GAO denied the protest.