Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Katmai Information Technologies, LLC
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that terms of solicitation for role-players to interact with military forces do not adequately communicate the agency’s requirements is denied where the solicitation provides sufficient information on which offerors can compete intelligently and on a relatively equal basis.
General Counsel PC:
Katmai Information Technologies, LLC protested the terms of an RFP to provide support for mobilization training centers at Fort Dix, New Jersey and Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The technical exhibits provided detailed estimates of the anticipated labor hours to be utilized for role-player support by labor category. During the Q&A period, the agency responded to a prospective offeror’s question regarding simultaneous conduct of scenarios, informing offerors that there may be simultaneous conduct of scenarios dependent on unit training. Katmai alleged that the agency failed to provide more specific information regarding the potential requirement for simultaneous training scenarios, which made it virtually impossible to price the contract or meet the Key Personnel technical requirements for project managers and alternative project managers.
The GAO rejected Katmai’s assertions, pointing out that the solicitation provided detailed estimates of the total labor hours for all contemplated labor categories for each ordering period, detailed descriptions of the training scenarios with estimated hours per scenario, total number and type of role-player per scenario, uniforms and equipment requirements for each scenario, and estimated number of scenarios per ordering period. The GAO also found no ambiguity with respect to staffing of the project manager position. Although it acknowledged some risk where offerors have to anticipate “occasionally” performing scenarios simultaneously, it concluded that the risk did not undermine the ability of offerors to compete intelligently and on a relatively equal basis.
When evaluating whether to submit an offer under a solicitation, a company should carefully review the solicitation to ensure that all the information necessary to prepare a complete proposal is present. If you believe that information is missing or is unclear, you should seek clarification from the agency during the Q&A period. If the agency fails to adequately address what you perceive to be shortcomings in the solicitation, you must protest prior to the time set for receipt of proposals.