Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Maritime Institute Inc.
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Requirement in a solicitation for logistics training for mariners, that proposals include the resumes and signed employment letters of intent for key personnel, is unobjectionable, where the agency has provided a reasonable explanation for the requirement.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Maritime Institute Inc. protested the terms of an RFP for logistics training services for civilian mariners. The RFP, issued as a small business set-aside, contemplated award on a best value basis, considering technical, past performance, and price evaluation factors. The RFP also provided minimum qualifications for 13 “Key Personnel” positions, and required proposals to include information demonstrating that the proposed key personnel meet these minimum qualifications. Maritime Institute objected to the RFP requirement that offerors submit signed letters of intent, and the resumes of, the individuals proposed as key personnel.
The GAO declined to find that the key personnel requirements were unduly restrictive on the competition. It found reasonable the agency’s justification that the evaluation of the proposed key personnel is a major component of the technical evaluation, and that the resumes provide a means for evaluating whether offerors have proposed key personnel who meet or exceed the requirements.
While a prospective offeror may find that certain requirements within the RFP restrict its own ability to compete for award, it must be able to demonstrate to the GAO that the restrictive requirement is not necessary to satisfy the agency’s legitimate needs. If the agency can reasonably justify the restrictive requirement, the GAO is not likely to sustain a protest of the terms of the RFP.