Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: MicroTechnologies, LLC
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency used unstated evaluation criteria in evaluating offerors’ responses to sample task orders is denied where agency consideration of whether responses addressed the specific tasks necessary for successful performance of the overall sample tasks was reasonably related to the stated evaluation criteria for understanding of the problems regarding, and feasibility of approach to, the sample tasks.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
MicroTechnologies, LLC protested the elimination of its proposal from the competitive range in an RFP for information technology (IT) services. The solicitation provided for award of up to 15 contracts on a best-value basis. Microtech was one of 90 offerors; its proposal was excluded from the competitive range because it was not one of the most highly rated.
The GAO found that Microtech did not demonstrate that the agency had relied on unstated evaluation criteria, noting that the key focus and lower level focus areas that the agency considered in evaluating responses to sample task orders (STOs) were reasonably related to or encompassed by the stated criteria. The GAO then disagreed with Microtech’s assertion that the agency’s evaluation of its proposal was unreasonable. The agency had explained that the lack of detail and explanation in Microtech’s proposal prevented the agency from evaluating whether Microtech fully understood the problem in the STO and had a feasible approach to address it; the GAO found the agency’s corresponding assignment of deficiencies to Microtech’s proposal to be reasonable.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals that comply with all requirements in the RFP. When preparing an offer, a firm should make sure it provides detailed explanations for each of its proposals, adequately supporting each of its particular plans and fully addressing any situations presented in STOs. Failure to provide sufficient detail may lead to the assessment of weaknesses or deficiencies to that firm’s proposal.