Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Main Building Maintenance, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest of agency evaluation and determination to exclude protester’s revised proposal from the competitive range is denied where protester fails to show that either was unreasonable.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Main Building Maintenance, Inc. (MBM) protested the exclusion of its revised proposal from the competitive range under an RFP for healthcare housekeeping and related services at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) Medical Treatment Facility (MTF), and other MTFs located in the health service area of Fort Bliss, Texas. Issued as a small business set-aside, the RFP identified two evaluation factors, technical acceptability and price, with the technical acceptability factor consisting of two equally-weighted subfactors, technical approach and key personnel and qualifications. MBM’s proposal was initially rated technically unacceptable due to unacceptability under the technical approach subfactor, with its overall proposal receiving 13 deficiencies, 2 significant weaknesses, and 4 weaknesses. Following written and oral discussions, MBM submitted a revised proposal, which was again rated unacceptable under the technical approach subfactor.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s assessment of a deficiency for the safety and health plan requirements, noting that MBM did not detail how it intended to comply with the requirements in PWS 1.17. The agency similarly found that MBM failed to adequately address how it would meet the requirements associated with PWS 1.18. The GAO rejected MBM’s claim that the agency failed to conduct meaningful discussions, noting that the agency is only required to lead an offeror to areas of its proposal requiring revision; it is not required to spoon-feed each and every item that could be revised to improve its proposal.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals that sufficiently address each of the requirements in the RFP. Statements that the offeror intends to comply with certain requirements, without additional information detailing how the offeror intends to comply, may result in the assessment of a deficiency. If the agency conducts discussions, offerors should not expect that each shortcoming in their proposals will be identified in detail.