Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Naiad Inflatables of Newport
Agency: United States Coast Guard
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest of deficiencies, significant weaknesses, and weaknesses assigned to the protester’s proposal is denied where the solicitation called for specific information that was not furnished in the protester’s proposal and the record shows that the agency performed a reasonable evaluation in accordance with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
Naiad Inflatables of Newport protested the award of four contracts for rigid hull Cutter Boat Over-The Horizon IV (CB-OTH-IV) boats. The RFP anticipated two phases of award: the first to up to four awardees, from whom the agency would order one boat for testing; and the second to a single firm from the first phase, who would receive the delivery orders for all future orders. The RFP also specified that the CB-OTH-IVs must be recoverable by three specific types of cutters currently in use by the agency, including National Security cutters. Naiad objected that the agency failed to consider additional information provided by Naiad following the initial submission of offers.
The GAO found that the agency had requested clarification from Naiad as to how its proposed CB-OTH-IV would be recoverable by National Security cutters, and that Naiad’s attempts to supplement its proposal with information about its ability to interface with National Security cutters would have constituted discussions. It further agreed with the agency that Naiad’s passing reference to the boat interfacing with “other cutters” did not sufficiently address the RFP’s requirement that proposals demonstrate the boat’s ability to interface with the National Security cutter.
Offerors must submit well-written proposals, adequately detailing all information requested by the RFP. Blanket statements of compliance with specifications are insufficient and may not be accepted as a demonstration of an offeror’s capabilities. Offerors should refrain from simply restating the specifications as provided in the RFP, and clearly outline how they intend to satisfy the terms of the RFP.